UCT Vice-Chancellor punched by protesters

14 October 2016 - 20:55 By Nashira Davids And Philani Nombembe

University of Cape Town Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price was punched by a group of protesters on Friday afternoon. Price had to be escorted to safety by police during a scuffle on campus‚ said university spokesman Gerda Kruger.UCT student upsets Newton’s apple cart with her demand that #ScienceMustFallA so-called “fallist” has asked students at the University of Cape Town's science faculty to consider scrapping science as a whole if it is ever to be decolonised. He and two members of his executive met students outside the Bremner building but when he tried to leave to attend another meeting all hell broke loose.Cost of vehicle arson at UCT could rise into the millionsThe University of Cape Town is assessing smoke damage to a ventilation system that serves a Geological Sciences laboratory housing highly sensitive equipment‚ worth millions of rand. The damage could be severe and it is possible the ventilation system will have to be completely replaced‚ management says. "Unfortunately‚ some of the protesters encircled him and started pushing and pulling him. Dr Price attempted to walk away when he received two punches to the body. A colleague attempted to protect the Vice-Chancellor‚'' said Kruger in a statement."Members of the South African Police Service stepped into the group to escort Dr Price away. Unfortunately‚ the scuffles and pushing escalated and police officers used stun grenades to disperse the group.'' She said the group later disrupted a soccer match on a ''field nearby''.Kruger described the behaviour of the protesters as ''utterly unacceptable and unlawful''.''Dr Price and his executive have sought continued engagements with protesters‚ with the intention of finding a negotiated solution that will allow for the continuation of the academic year without further need for extensive security‚'' she said.Price was held hostage by students in September at the fees commission hearing at the Centre for the Book in Cape Town. Shortly after making a presentation‚ students confronted him and demanded the reinstatement of those who had been suspended for their involvement in protest action. The standoff lasted for more than 40 minutes. He was sworn at and called a ''white settler''.Police intervened and the commission was halted.Meanwhile‚ academic programmes resumed at Wits University on Friday‚ said spokesman Shirona Patel.“The majority of Wit’s academic programmes went ahead today across campuses‚” she said.“Disruptions to the academic programme were reported this morning on the Wits West Campus. Firecrackers were also set off in some classrooms as well as near the Matrix and Central Block. Security and police were called to the scene and the disruptors dispersed. Classes then resumed. We have had not disruptions this afternoon‚” she said.Patel said the university had introduced stringent measures to prevent disruptions‚ which included:All university buildings‚ facilities‚ libraries and reading rooms other than student residences and staff accommodation are closed between 9:30pm and 6am.People not assigned accommodation within university precincts are not granted access to the university after 10pm.Only people authorised to occupy university facilities‚ or those on official business‚ were allowed in the university precincts after 10pm.Those allowed to be on campus after 10pm had to remain in a specific area until 6am.

This article is reserved for Sunday Times subscribers.

A subscription gives you full digital access to all Sunday Times content.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Registered on the BusinessLIVE, Business Day or Financial Mail websites? Sign in with the same details.

Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@timeslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.