The police arrested eight students who took part in the protest that took place at the University of Cape Town on Tuesday and among those arrested is the son Of the ESKOM CEO Itumeleng Molefe
Itumeleng was said to have been arrested the night the protest took place and was arraigned alongside seven others at the Wynberg Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
The eight, alongside other of the members of the #Rhodesmustfall group who were frustrated with the housing crisis and other challenges, went on the rampage at the University of Cape Town on Tuesday destroying the University’s properties.
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Students raided the dining hall at Fuller residence, and stripped the hall of its decor and historic paintings consisting of mostly Keresemose Richard Baholo’s paintings. They were also said to have targeted paintings made by white people connected to the university.
The university’s Vice-Chancellor Max Price also said that his office was targeted and petrol bombed during violent protests staged by the students. He added that officers found bottles of petrol hidden in a mock shack erected by demonstrators to highlight the shortage of residence space.
The eight appeared at the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday on charges of public violence and malicious damage to property.
Malofe was seen outside the bail office waiting patiently to bail out his son. He refused to comment on his son’s involvement in the controversial ‘Rhodes Must Fall’ movement. His son, alongside six others were later granted bail of a R1,000 while the remaining one was given R800 bail separately.
According to the court Magistrate, though the charges laid on them are serious, the students are all first-time offenders.
Meanwhile in a media briefing on Wednesday, the UCT’s Russell Ally joined the Vice Chancellor to narrate the nature of the protest and how much damage was don in the university.
“I think it’s regrettable because it does not [give] the movement any credit. I think that biggest tragedy is that it then distracts attention away from the very legitimate issues that Rhodes Must Fall brought to the attention of not just the university, but nationally.” Ally said.
The university resumed its activities in a calm environment as the Vice President had earlier stated.