CPUT student faces arson, attempted murder charge



October 14, 2016
CPUT student faces arson, attempted murder charge

ACCUSED: Byron Dick allegedly trapped CPUT security guards in burning building at CPUT Bellville

A 26-year-old alleged #FeesMustFall protester finds himself behind bars, facing four serious offences.

Police have arrested a CPUT student for allegedly locking in security guards in their office before setting it alight.

Byron Dick made a brief appearance at the Bellville Magistrates’ Court yesterday where he was charged with attempted murder, arson, contravention of a high court order and public violence.

The 26-year-old was nabbed at the CPUT’s Bellville campus on Tuesday morning just hours after two security offices as well as the main gate at the institution were set alight, allegedly by #FeesMustFall protesters.

The three security guards on duty were locked inside before the building was pelted with rocks and set alight.

The accused walked into a packed courtroom filled with fellow students who came to support him, and stood quietly before Magistrate Ronald Rickets.

Dick looked near tears when he heard he’d have to spend the week in jail before a bail application could be launched.

State Prosecutor Stefan Venter said investigators needed time to verify an alternative address provided by Dick.

“We would like a postponement for seven days to get a bail profile on the accused and further information,” he said.

Dick is due back in court on October 20.

Yesterday, CPUT’s Bellville campus was deserted with hardly any signs of students as police and security officials kept watch while clean-up operations took place.

CPUT has suspended classes until further notice.

Yesterday student protest leaders called for the university to reinstate a General Assembly which was to take place on Saturday to try and find a way forward.

Students are demanding a zero fee increase next year, as well as for two suspended student protesters to be reinstated, among others.

CPUT called off the assembly on Wednesday following fresh protests and the arson attacks at the Bellville and Cape Town campuses.

Meanwhile, UCT as well as UWC remain closed while the University of Stellenbosch is continuing with classes.

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