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While efforts continued to broker a “ceasefire” on campus‚ a group of students and workers attacked a security guard‚ threatened staff and ordered the evacuation of buildings at the University of Cape Town on Wednesday.
A group of about 100 students converged earlier in the day on the upper campus‚ watched by police and private security guards wearing helmets and carrying riot shields.
The University of Cape Town (UCT) is a public research university located in Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. UCT was founded in 1829 as the South African College, and is the oldest university in South Africa and the second oldest extant university in Africa. UCT is the highest-ranked African university in the QS World University Rankings, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and the Academic Ranking of World Universities, and its Law and Commerce Faculties are consistently placed among the hundred best internationally. The language of instruction is English.
A petition calling for the university to open, signed by over 1,300 members of the university including over 500 staff, was sent to Vice-Chancellor Max Price.
UCT Staff and Student Petition in Favour of Peaceful Reopening
We, the undersigned members of the University of Cape Town, believe:
* that we have a responsibility to our current and future students, and to their families, to complete the academic teaching year;* that we must resume teaching now if we are to carry out that responsibility;
* that the university is doing everything possible to support the student demand for normalisation of relations and for free education;
* that the University is fully committed to and actively engaged in institutional transformation including pedagogical and curriculum transformation and has invested significant monetary resources and managerial time to the transformation of staff and curricula;
* that many students are highlighting areas of ongoing suffering and that we will redouble our efforts to address them;
* that we have a compelling responsibility to protect the university and its resources for future generations of South Africans;
* that violence, and threats of violence, directed at any members of the institution and its facilities are equally intolerable.
* allow teaching to resume from Monday October 17th 2016, to allow students to sit their exams and complete the year;
* respect the urgent personal and collective interests and rights of the majority of students and staff;
* engage peacefully and respectfully with all university stakeholders in order to support the student demand for free education;
And we enjoin management to deploy the minimal necessary security required to protect staff and students.