#FeesMustFall: UCT slaps protestors with court interdict

The University of Cape Town was on Monday afternoon granted a court interdict preventing student protestors from “disrupting or otherwise interfering in any way with the normal activities of the university”. RA’EESA PATHER reports.

Ru Slayen, a student involved in the Rhodes Must Fall movement, read out the court order outside the university’s administrative offices, Bremner building, around 5:30pm.

News of the court order stunned the protestors, who were particularly taken aback by the references to arson contained in the court order. Except for two incidents earlier in the day in which people trying to enter the campus had driven cars through groups of protestors, the demonstrations on campus have been peaceful. The students heckled acting vice-chancellor Francis Petersen, arguing that management had acted in bad faith. “We engaged you peacefully. We did not hurt you, we did not touch you,” one student told Petersen.

Peterson responded saying that management was prepared to meet with students. However, the students were unhappy with this, arguing that they’d wanted to meet in Bremner Building earlier in the day but that management had told them that they should meet in the parking lot.

In a move reminiscent of the Friday’s #WitsFeesMustFall protest, the students demanded that the university’s executive committee meet with them tonight.

A small group of students had earlier broken into Bremner building, with the intention of occupying the space but they later left following resistance from the rest of the protestors who argued that their plan of action concerned blockading the university, not occupying it. After hearing about the court interdict, they revised their position and their intention now is to occupy the building for the night or until police arrive to remove them.

– Featured image by Ashraf Hendricks

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2 Comments

  1. Fanta says

    The pic of the admin official with his arms folded speaks volumes.
    This struggle is reminiscent of the student struggle of the 80’s that swept over the country. Seems like the struggle continues and the old tactics like the ridiculous court orders are more of the same short sighted tactics employed by the old regime. Some things never change.

    I hope these brave students keep on the struggle. The privileged, who want to maintain the status quo, will ask for more government subsidies totally sidestepping the underlying issue of university responsibility and accountability. Universities need to be more transparent and open up their books. Who are people at the top of the pay scale and why? Is the curriculum serving only the privileged class or is it serving the long term aspirations of an African country? The real issue is that any university curriculum should serve the long term needs of a country not just short-term corporate interests.

  2. Mich says

    Fana,the privileged are the financially and politically empowered -new money and old money with influence-who want to maintain the status quo.The spectrum of students from all walks of life was evident during these protests and such a heartening sight to see each and every one of them supporting each other and the cause.The government of the day is where the buck stops.They hand out too little money to sustain these tertiary institutions.The money is there in the fiscus..the government must learn-unfortunately the hard way- to use it wisely #feesmustfall

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