FeesMustFall leaders face tribunal at UCT

15 September 2016 - 11:39 By APHIWE DEKLERK

Interdicted leaders of the #FeesMustFall movement at the University of Cape Town will face the music today when they appear before the institution's disciplinary tribunal.

THE ROAD AHEAD: UCT students during last week's #FeesMustFall protests
THE ROAD AHEAD: UCT students during last week's #FeesMustFall protests

Their case emanates from the "Shackville" protest in February when students erected a shack on the university premises to bemoan the lack of student accommodation.

Several university paintings were set alight in the ensuing violence. The university applied for an interdict against 16 students but the number has since dropped to five - Alex Hotz, Masixole Mlandu, Chumani Maxwele, Slovo Magida and Zola Shokane.

When asked to comment about the process, university spokesman Elijah Moholola said: "Disciplinary processes at the University of Cape Town are confidential."

But Mlandu and Maxwele confirmed their appearance.

"That's what the university says . I mean that's an illegal [disciplinary process]. As you would know that you can't have a disciplinary hearing that takes the whole year. You can tell these people have got an agenda," said Maxwele.

He said they had informed the university they did not have legal representation and would only meet with their lawyer on September 23.

"We are going there simply to ask for [a] postponement. If they can't postpone then the will of the people has to take over . the masses which we spoke on behalf of have to take over," said Mlandu.

The hearing comes just a week after members of the #FeesMustFall movement, including Mlandu, cornered vice-chancellor Max Price at the Fees Commission hearings in Cape Town. They demand that suspended and interdicted students be cleared.

The fracas led to the cancellation of the hearings after students took over and conducted their own hearings. They claimed the commission could not sit without their involvement.

Maxwele said Price has agreed to meet students after they had written a memorandum asking for a "Shackville TRC" for the institution to get to the bottom of events during the protests.

But Moholola could not confirm this meeting with students.

"[Price] is constantly engaging with many different stakeholders on matters that concern the university. In the matter of protest action that occurred earlier this year, he has proposed meeting with some students to engage on ways of finding common ground," he said

Today, members and supporters of #FeesMustFall are also expected to hold a mass meeting to decide on further action to ensure fee-free tertiary education.