CPUT shuts indefinitely after renewed violence

Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT)
Image: Facebook/Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT)

The Cape Peninsula University Technology (CPUT) has been closed indefinitely after more than a month of violence and protests at the university’s campuses.

The announcement came from CPUT’s acting vice-chancellor‚ Chris Nhlapo‚ late on Tuesday‚ and a day after disruptions on the Cape Town campus‚ where mattresses were burnt and bookshelves were thrown off a balcony by protesting students. A car was also reportedly stoned at the Bellville campus on the same day.

All classes were subsequently suspended on Tuesday and since then barbed wire has been placed around the Cape Town campus.

In his statement on Tuesday‚ Nhlapo said a consultation process would take place “with various stakeholders”‚ and that students would be told in due course when they could return to class.

“After careful consideration of the current situation‚ management has made a decision to suspend all university activities across all campuses until further notice‚” he said.

“As always you are reminded that institutional updates are only communicated via official university channels like newsflash and posted to the CPUT website.”

The protests started in August after students were unhappy with a lack of residential accommodation at campuses.

Violent clashes between students and private security resulted in a number of arrests and the university being granted a High Court interdict against students in September.

On Tuesday four students known as the CPUT4‚ who are alleged to have been part of the protests‚ were found guilty of “not maintaining order” and of being “disrespectful” following a month-long internal disciplinary process. They were handed a suspended sentence.

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