CPUT burns



October 13, 2016
CPUT burns

GUTTED: CPUT Bellville on fire. CREDIT: Ayanda Ndamane

Three guards locked in burning building.

CPUT has laid charges of attempted murder after three security guards were locked in a building that was set on fire.

Student protest leaders have distanced themselves from arson attacks at two CPUT campuses yesterday.

Numerous buildings were torched at the Bellville and Cape Town campuses of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in the early hours of yesterday morning.

The arsonists locked the three guards inside a security office before it was pelted with rocks and set alight at the Bellville campus.

The guards were treated for smoke inhalation at the scene before they were taken to hospital.

One of the officers also suffered severe head injuries after he was hit by a rock.

CPUT spokesperson Lauren Kansley says all three have since been released from hospital.

“At around 11pm [on Tuesday night] fires were started at the Bellville campus which gutted the security control room and the main gate and leaving two cars damaged.

“A case of attempted murder was opened by the university.”

About three hours later at the Cape Town campus, the Centre for Professional and Personal Development was also set alight and damaged.

Hours later at the Mowbray campus, a group of students forced staff to abandon their posts and locked them in the admin building.

Kansley says cops arrived to free the traumatised employees.

But leaders of the CPUT #FeesMustFall movement say their legitimate protest has been hijacked by thugs and puts the blame squarely on CPUT.

“We decry these acts as thuggery coming from rogue elements who wish to hijack our genuine struggle,” reads their statement.

“FeesMustFalls also holds the strong view that the refusal/inability of the Vice-Chancellor [Prins Nevhutalu] to engage in meaningful dialogue with the campus community… has allowed both frustration and opportunism to set in.”

Kansley says a planned assembly for this Saturday was cancelled because students did not comply with the condition that normal activities should resume this week.

“We have also confirmed the availability of the Wingfield Military Base as an option for off-site assessments as we head towards examinations,” she adds.

Yesterday the case against 12 CPUT students who were arrested on charges of public violence was postponed to October 19 for cops to obtain bail profiles.

Classes remain suspended at CPUT, as well as the University of Cape Town and the University of the Western Cape this week.

Academic activities continued at Stellenbosch University despite reports of a protest there yesterday morning.

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