From Monday, 30 September to 2 October 2016 a meeting was held between the Representatives of the Progressive SRC Candidates (referred to as the #ShackvilleTRC) and UCT represented by the Vice-Chancellor (VC) and members of the Special Executive Task Team. The meeting was held at Tshisimani Centre for Activists Education (TCAE) in Mowbray, Cape Town where they discussed ideas on how to solve the ongoing protests. Both parties managed to reach a consensus on 2 October where they drafted a resolution on student protests.
University of Cape Town – On Wednesday, 5 October 2016, a mass meeting was held at Leslie Social Science Building where a UCT politics lecturer, Dr Lwazi Lushaba, and student leader, Athabile Nonxuba, addressed the students on the issues related to protests that are currently happening at UCT such as racism in the institution, free decolonial education, reopening of the University and many other issues.
On 28 September 2016, Workers Solidarity Fund (WSF) announced on their Facebook page that the Workers Solidarity Fund for university workers affected by student protests was to be revived. WSF is a fundraising initiative which is aimed at helping University workers such as canteen and cafeteria workers whose jobs have been negatively impacted by the ongoing protests over free decolonized tertiary education amongst other issues.
On Friday, UCT management announced that classes were to resume on Monday, 17 October. This comes after the collapse of an intense negotiation process between protesting students, identified as #ShackvilleTRC, and management following the re-arrest of SRC candidate Masixole Mlandu. While some faculties have begun to prepare for off-campus learning measures, many have expressed their concerns with opening UCT campuses.
On Tuesday, 6 September, a meeting was held at Centre for the Book where Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price intended to present on the feasibility of free education for UCT. Representatives from various organisations, such as the University of Western Cape, Equal Education, and the National Research Foundation, presented their views and ideas at the Commission of Inquiry Into Higher Education and Training (Fees Commission). Dr Price was presenting suggestions on how to achieve the 0% increase in 2017, as well as the feasibility of free education.
On Thursday, September 8th, voting for the 2017 Humanities Student Council officially commenced. One candidate in the running to be elected, Laurent Balt, came under fire when the phrase ‘you called me a whore for talking to guys’ was penned on several of his campaign posters around campus. This comes after claims from an anonymous source that he is misogynistic and has made problematic statements to her in the past.
On September 7, Leo Marquard Hall was occupied by students protesting patriarchy within the residence. This was as a result of the House Committee interrogations, which had taken place the previous evening. Those attending the interrogations raised issues with three of the candidates, who were deemed to be problematic, and it was demanded that one of the candidates withdraw from the election.
As a part of Women’s month, the Red Wings Project: Cape Town (Red Wings), in partnership with the United Nations Association of South Africa in Stellenbosch (UNASA) and Deloitte, delivered pads and held workshops at both Langa and Matthew Goniwe High Schools on Thursday, September 8 and Friday, September 9.
Former estate agent Penny Sparrow’s court case for labelling black people ‘monkeys’ in a rant about littered beaches, continued in the Umzinto Magistrate’s Court on Monday. The Sparrow case was the first of a year of outbursts which have landed several people in trouble. Last week, another estate agent, Vicky Momberg, appeared in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court after allegedly uttering racial insults at a black police officer after a smash and grab in Johannesburg.
On Tuesday, September 6, the 2016 Election Commission released a statement stating that SRC elections will be suspended indefinitely. It is unclear when the suspension will be lifted or what procedure will be followed should an election not take place by October 31, as there is no precedent for this situation. The suspension was implemented, given that Masixole Mlandu, one of the candidates has an interdict against him, which prohibits his presence on campus.
On Tuesday, August 23rd, a meeting will be taking place with Professor Anwar Mall, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Transformation, in order to discuss the SRC’s Funding Futures campaign and enquire into the R2 million donation received from Old Mutual. Present at the meeting will be Sinoxolo Boyi, Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (PASMA) Secretary-General, and Marcus Gawronsky, SRC Treasurer.
On Wednesday, July 6 there was a nationwide shutdown in Zimbabwe, organised by the #ThisFlag movement, with various shops, companies, transport services and schools closed in protest against high unemployment, corruption, poverty and other socio-political and economic problems within the country.
Vice Chancellor Max Price stated that the Naming of Buildings Committee (NOBC) and the Task Team would be meeting after July 1 to decide how the name of Jameson Hall would change and what this change would be. This announcement came through an e-mail received from the VC Desk on June 23, a mass email from the Vice Chancellor was received by all students, stating that Council had agreed to change the name of Jameson Hall after meeting on June 18. The e-mail also mentioned a meeting that took place on June 17, between the Task Team and the NOBC. During this meeting they concluded that ‘Jameson’s ruthless self-interest manifested in a profound lack of respect for other people.’ This conclusion is a contributing factor towards the decision to change the name of the hall.
On May 28, a statement was released, via an e-mail correspondence from Vice Chancellor Max Price, that three UCT students, who had violated the interdict against them, were banned from campus. This followed a protest that took place on May 12 against the ban placed on students Alex Hotz, Masixole Mlandu, Chumani Maxwele, Slovo Magida and Zola Shokane. The student protestors had a banner on display over the steps of Jameson Hall, which read ‘Death of a dream’. Several body bags were also laid out on the ground to represent the students who had been prevented from entering the campus.