All activities cancelled on Upper, Middle and Lower Campus at UCT
19 October 2015
Dear colleagues and students
All lectures, academic and other operation on UPPER CAMPUS, MIDDLE AND LOWER CAMPUS at the University of Cape Town have been suspended for today, Monday, 19 October 2015.
The decision to do so was taken after various access roads to the university were blocked by protesters. This prevented staff and students from getting to their classes and work spaces. We believe this situation presents a threat to the safety of staff and students. The decision serves to prevent an escalation and to allow us to do the work to bring the university back to safety and normal operation.
The Chair of Council, Acting Vice-Chancellor, the executive and the deans agreed that the decision should be taken.
The actions of the protesters are de facto preventing the business of the institution to continue. Their actions prevent others from exercising their right to come and learn. This can never be acceptable and is unlawful.
UCT has a deep respect for the right to protest, and we have over the last months demonstrated that. Since the start of protest action we have not charged a single student with disciplinary action for their involvement in protest actions. However, interfering with the rights of others, and the right of the institution to continue with its normal academic functioning, is simply not acceptable.
The university is appealing to all involved in protest action to do so in a lawful manner and mindful of the rights of others. Yesterday, the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Francis Petersen, sent a message to the campus community appealing for responsible and lawful protest behaviour.
The Acting Vice-Chancellor is engaging with the Student Representative Council, Rhodes Must Fall, the Left Students Forum and other student interest groups to arrange for ongoing discussions in an effort to bring the campus back to normal functioning.
All staff and students are asked to refrain from coming to UPPER CAMPUS, MIDDLE AND LOWER CAMPUS for today. Staff and students currently on UPPER CAMPUS, MIDDLE AND LOWER CAMPUSare asked to leave the campus.
The Hiddingh Campus, Health Sciences campus and the Graduate School of Business remain open as usual.
Please watch the UCT homepage for more information.
Executive Director: Communication and Marketing Department
Issued by UCT, 19 October 2015