UCT SRC says students wrongfully arrested

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The University of Cape Town’s Student Representative Council (SRC) says the two students arrested on charges of contravening a court order and public violence were wrongfully detained. They were arrested outside the Kramer Law lecture rooms.

The protesting students are calling on the university’s management to lift the fee blocks which are preventing some students from registering.

“The police continued to push us out until they put off a stun grenade without any warning. Obviously, students ran in fear not knowing if it was a gunshot or teargas. As we moved back trying to understand why students were being pushed out of a building, they were told to stay in, we found out that two of the students were arrested. They didn’t do anything wrong except try to help students who were getting trampled on,” SRC Residence Co-ordinator Kumkani Goqoza elaborates.

The University of Cape Town says while it upholds the right to legitimate protest, the executive will act against unlawful activities on campus.

UCT spokesperson, Elijah Moholola, says the protest is unlawful in terms of an interim interdict granted by the Western Cape High Court in February.

“The UCT executive reiterates its stance on upholding the right to legitimate protest but will act against any unlawful activities. The executive further remains committed to a process of engagement over any issues. UCT has already lifted the fee block threshold from R1 000 to R10 000 for South African students, which has allowed just over 3 400 students to register,” says Moholola.