Violence at CPUT as students attempt to shut down two campuses

Students at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology protested at two separate campuses today. A building is believed to have been petrol bombed and private security used stun grenades to disperse students. Students are protesting over the suspension of four student leaders last month and a dispute concerning contracts for insourced workers.

Underlying these issues is a dispute over a lack of residence spaces and a lack of facilities for students living in res. In April, when students marched to the CBD over their grievances, one student told News24: “We have one microwave oven, five washing machines and no Wi-Fi for 1 200 students.”

On August 30, it was reported that after lengthy deliberations and disruptive protests on campus, the university agreed to find accommodation for about 100 students.

That same day, four student leaders involved in the protests were suspended for their involvement in campus disruptions.

An SRC leader, who asked not to be named, said students would pursue a shut down until the suspensions are lifted.

CPUT spokesperson Lauren Kansley told The Daily Vox stun grenades were fired this morning at the Cape Town campus after a group of protesting students turned violent. She said SAPS, campus security and private security had contained the situation.

Kansley said a number of classrooms had been torched at that campus in the early hours of Monday morning. “We believe attacks like these are an attempt by a small group of students to disrupt exams and wreak havoc,” she said.

Kansley said groups of protesters had also gathered at the Bellville campus but that at this stage no campuses have officially been shut down.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons