Watch: #UCTShutdown protestors trigger fire extinguishers, disrupt exams

#uctshutdown university of cape town nancy smith flickr

It has been a tumultuous week for the University of Cape Town (UCT).

Although a wave of #FeesMustFall protests have swept through South Africa’s universities this month — including CPUT, the University of the Free State and the Tshwane University of Technology — #UCTShutdown protests this week propelled the institution’s disquiet into the spotlight.

A fresh spate of protests began Monday after students demanded a 0% increase to fees for the 2018 academic year. This comes after an 8% hike to fees in 2017.

On Tuesday, students handed over a memorandum to UCT chancellor Max Price, calling the university to address the above, investigate the recent spate of suicides of UCT students, and the release of the Fees Commission report.

Notably, only government can release the latter.

The UCT SRC on Wednesday vowed to shut down venues across campus, many of which were housing examinations and march on Parliament to demand the release of the report.

#UCTShutdown began trending on Monday, but remained a fixture on Twitter timelines in Cape Town on Wednesday, as the protests continued.

As a result of today’s protests, examinations were disrupted, faculties and buildings were shuttered, and fire extinguishers and fire alarms were triggered in some venues.

The Daily Vox journalist Mohammed Jameel Abdulla captured the scenes in one test venue.

Other videos, recorded by students and journalists, also emerged on Twitter.

UCT’s Varsity News captured the aftermath of a triggered fire extinguisher in the Fuller Hall residence.

Some students have since made their way to Main Road from UCT’s Middle Campus in Rondebosch.

Students have reportedly continued their march to Parliament, where Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba is currently delivering the mid-term budget speech.

For realtime news on the #UCTShutdown and #FeesMustFall protests across Cape Town, follow this Twitter list.

Feature image: nancy smith via Flickr (CC BY 2.0, resized)

Andy Walker, former editor


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