South Africa

#FeesMustFall: Protests disrupt exam at UCT but varsity stays open

By Shaun Swingler 25 October 2017

Protesting students, led by the current Student Representative Council, followed through on their promise to attempt to shut down the University of Cape Town (UCT) on Wednesday but attempts to march on Parliament were met with resistance from the police. By SHAUN SWINGLER.

The protesting students marched through the rain to residences across the university to gather numbers. Once numbers grew to around 150 students, the group moved across the campuses, disrupting lectures and exams. One of the exams disrupted was the Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting exam, where students stormed into the UCT Sports Centre and let off a fire extinguisher in the venue.


Photo: Protesting students disrupt a Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting exam in the UCT Sports Centre. Photo: Shaun Swingler.

The main library was closed, but the rest of the university stayed open throughout the day, with the university confirming that private security would be deployed to secure high-risk venues on campus.

Photo: SRC member Sihle Lonzi addresses protesting students on the steps of Jameson Hall. Photo: Shaun Swingler

This followed students handing UCT Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price a list of demands on Wednesday which included a 0% fee increase for the next academic year, the immediate release of the Fees Commission report, clearance of historical debt, housing solutions for students who don’t get residence offers, and an inquest into the suicides of students in the past five years.

Photo: Protesting students march towards upper campus. Photo: Shaun Swingler

Protesting students took to the streets to mobilise fellow students from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology Mowbray campus. Once assembled they marched to Parliament to hand over a memorandum to demand the immediate release of the Fees Commission report – this while Malusi Gigaba delivered his medium-term budget policy statement.

Photo: Dustbin barricades at the Tugwell Jammie bus stop. Photo: Shaun Swingler

Once students arrived at Parliament, they were ordered to disperse by SAPS; after failing to do so, they were pushed away from Parliament and one protesting student was arrested. DM

Main photo: ‘We don’t have money’ written in chalk on a UCT building. Photo: Shaun Swingler


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