CPUT Vice Chancellor Dr Prins Nevhutalu angered students at a general meeting yesterday when he appeared to be more interested in his phone than listening to their complaints.
While Cape Peninsula University of Technology students voiced their demands, Nevhutalu fiddled with his phone and left the hall a few times to answer calls.
This prompted furious students to get up and block him from leaving the hall to answer their burning questions.
About 2 000 students and CPUT workers gathered at the Cape Town campus for the mass meeting yesterday.
The meeting, which was supposed to start at 10am, was delayed for about two hours after student leaders insisted that the 13 students arrested for public violence and destruction of property be allowed onto the campus to attend.
The meeting resumed after university management agreed to allow them in.
Four key demands out of 24 submitted were discussed during the meeting, they are:
- The need for free education and the decolonisation of education,
- The insourcing of all CPUT support staff,
- Amnesty for students suspended for participating in protests
- The removal of bail conditions of those arrested to allow them back on campus.
The students asked for all academic activities to be suspended until a decision has been made regarding free tertiary education.
#FeesMustFall leaders revealed they planned to march to parliament next Wednesday, and urged the university management to join them.
The event coincides with Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s mid-term budget speech.
Yesterday the presidency announced that Gordhan has been added to the higher education crisis team. He joins the misters of police, defence and state security.
Meanwhile, CPUT workers, including cleaners, security guards, transport staff and landscape artists, demanded an end to outsourcing, a R12 000 minimum wage, company benefits and CPUT work uniforms.
— Bertram malgas (@malgasie) October 20, 2016
CPUT’s spokesperson, Lauren Kansley, says the list of demands will be discussed over the weekend.
“Regarding the mediation talks at the Cape Town Campus, a special council meeting will be held over the weekend to discuss the outcome of grievances brought forward,” she says.
“We will commence with academic activities on Friday [today] and the university is still on track with rolling out classes and assessments, as alternative venues were put in place for students.”