Frustrated by the housing crisis and other challenges, the University of Cape Town students who were mostly identified as the Rhodes Must Fall Members held a protest match that was followed by the burning of paintings and several other chaotic acts.
The students, who claimed they were fighting for their right to accommodation, food and finance, were said to have gone beyond the school’s expectations in their violent act. To this end, some of the protesting members were arrested by the police who is set to arraign them at the court.
The chaos ensued when the RMF members defied a request by the university management to dismantle the shack which they built on the road.
The structure which the group called “Shackville” was erected on the residence road, upper campus, to protest what they referred to as the institution’s discrimination against black students in placing them in accommodation.
Report had it that the police arrested eight people who would face charges of public violence and malicious damage to property. The students are expected to appear in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday February 17th.
“We’ve had situations where certain acts were dealt with. We’ve had about eight arrests that were made as well. We have about the same number of students who are going to be suspended after they were identified for their involvement in such unlawful actions,” the University’s spokesperson Elijah Moholola said.
Speaking on this, the Vice Chancellor Max Price said the attitude displayed by the students were beyond expectations, that the Rhodes Must Fall campaign has made it clear that their aim is to shut down the university, but they will not be allowed to prevent more than 3 000 students and staff from exercising their right to study and work in a safe environment.
“It is utterly regrettable that a movement that began with such promise and purport to be fighting for social justice matters has now deteriorated into a group that engages in criminality and has only one agenda, namely to close UCT operations down. Their behaviour is utterly unacceptable and can in no way be tolerated,” he said.
The Vice Chancellor, who claimed that the students went as far as petrol – bombing his office, setting a Jammie shuttle and a bakkie on fire; confirmed that the arrested students have been placed on suspension. He added that the University will continue operations on Wednesday.