Protests hit Tutu lecture

06 October 2016 - 10:57 By FARREN COLLINS

The Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture due to be held at the University of the Western Cape has been moved to a new venue amid ongoing student unrest, a year after it was disrupted by protesters.

The venue change for the annual lecture, which coincides with the birthday of the Archbishop Emeritus on Friday, was prompted by student protests that saw the university suspend all classes.

Yesterday students barricaded entrances to the university campus and disrupted lectures.

The Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation decided to move the lecture to Artscape.

"This year, because of the unrest in the higher education sector the lecture has been moved to an alternate venue," said the foundation's executive director, Mpho Tutu van Furth.

"The student protests are an important indicator that we are failing to deliver on the promise of freedom, justice and a nonracial democracy."

Last year's address by outgoing Public Protector Thuli Madonsela that was also held at UWC, was interrupted when protesters from the Black First Land First movement got up and shouted during Madonsela's speech, before being removed from the venue.

At the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Bellville, demonstrations by students also led to the university suspending its academic programme, after protesters dumped human waste on buildings and people yesterday.

The University of Cape Town has closed all campuses for the rest of the week after more protests.