CPUT exams under fire



November 15, 2016
CPUT exams under fire

CHAOS: CPUT has been rocked by cars being set alight. CREDIT: Ayanda Ndamane

Finals delayed till next Monday after two arson attacks.

The start of crucial end-of-year exams at CPUT had to be postponed following two arson attacks on its campuses.

Yesterday, the institution announced that exams will be pushed back to Monday.

This follows two incidents where buildings at the institution’s Bellville and Cape Town campuses were petrol-bombed.

On Sunday afternoon, the university obtained a court interdict from the Western Cape High Court restraining students from disrupting examinations.

Last month, 10 cars were set alight at three Cape universities, including six at CPUT’s Bellville and Cape Town campuses.

Spokeswoman Lauren Kansley says: “In the early hours of Sunday morning, we understand there were clashes between students and security which resulted in a prefab building used as a store room getting torched.”

“[And yesterday morning] at 6am, the front entrance to the Cape Town campus was set alight, affecting the mailroom.”

Hours later, CPUT announced it was postponing exams meant to begin today.

“The University in consultation with stakeholders has reached an agreement to postpone exams by one week until 21 November 2016,” it said.

“This will create an environment conducive to learning so that students who choose to write exams in the Nov/Dec sitting may be able to do so.”

As part of the agreement reached, staff members are expected to return to classes today where normal activities will resume.

The university also agreed to remove private security from today.

Kansley says there was an undertaking that students leaders and management will make sure there are no disruptions to venues selected for exams.

But some protest leaders have warned that no exams will take place this week or the next.

Police were on high alert yesterday after a message went viral on social media that #FeesMustFall protesters were planning to shut down the city.

According to the post, students were to occupy the V&A Waterfront, while some would shut down the Cape Town International Airport.

Early yesterday, several police vans and water cannons were stationed at UWC and CPUT campuses in Bellville while security guards and airport police kept a watchful eye.

But after several hours it became apparent that the planned protests were a hoax.

“We knew the trigger happy police in this town would fall for that and walk around all day, not knowing when we would hit, who are the stupids now,” one laughing student says.

“We will not stop what we are doing and they cannot do anything to stop us, when we close down this city they won’t see us coming.”

Meanwhile, exams at UWC and UCT got underway without disruptions yesterday.

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