NEWS & ANALYSIS

Max Price punched by Fallist protesters - UCT

After engaging with group VC was pushed and pulled and then assaulted while trying to leave

UCT Vice-Chancellor escorted into Bremner Building by SAPS

14 October 2016

This afternoon Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price and two members of the University of Cape Town executive met with a group of protesters outside the Bremner building on lower campus.

After engaging with the group, Dr Price wished to leave as he was due at another meeting. He explained this to those around him. Unfortunately, some of the protesters encircled him and started pushing and pulling him. Dr Price attempted to walk away when he received two punches to the body. A colleague attempted to protect the Vice-Chancellor. Members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) stepped into the group to escort Dr Price away. Unfortunately, the scuffles and pushing escalated and police officers used stun grenades to disperse the group.

The Vice-Chancellor and the members of the executive were then escorted back into the building. The group left and later disrupted a soccer match taking place on a field nearby.

The behaviour by some of the protesters is utterly unacceptable and unlawful. In our view what happened to Dr Price constitutes assault. We recognise that not all protesters behave in this way. Those who do are showing a disturbing disregard for the law.

Dr Price and his executive have sought continued engagements with protesters, with the intention of finding a negotiated solution that will allow for the continuation of the academic year without further need for extensive security.

Statement issued by Gerda Kruger, Executive Director: Communication and Marketing Department, UCT, 14 October 2016