Rioting students and cops clashed at the Western Cape College of Nursing in Heideveld on Tuesday where officers arrested 21 students for public violence.
Police say angry students blocked the entrance to the campus with concrete blocks, flipped staff vehicles, made fires and hurled stones at cops.
Manenberg police station commander Brigadier Enolium Joseph says 13 female and eight male students aged between 20 and 24 years old were arrested.
“The institution has an interdict against any protest action by the students,” he says.
“The protest action was heightened to criminal action when government vehicles were overturned and damaged. The students were asked to disperse and the Public Order Police took action when the large crowd of students started throwing stones.
“They were arrested for public violence and will appear in the Athlone Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.”
CPUT spokesperson, Lauren Kansley, says the riot happened despite a seven-hour meeting between CPUT’s Dean of Students, Prem Coopoo, representatives from the Western Cape Health Department, management from the Western Cape College of Nursing and student leaders, which reached a number of positive outcomes on Monday evening, including a monthly feedback meeting.
“At that meeting, most of the issues raised by students were resolved,” says Kansley.
“This includes four full-time security guards to address security concerns, the commissioning of a borehole to assist with water and sanitation problems, extended library hours and the reinstatement of an inter-campus shuttle.”
A member of the SRC, who asked not to be named, says the matters of safety and water have not been resolved as they were only given a 10-minute notification of the meeting.
“It is false that the matters are resolved. The students feel unsafe because of the death of a student on the campus last year,” the student explains.
“There have also been three break-ins and for two weeks some blocks did not have water. All the students wanted was for management to address them.”