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Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, has strongly
condemned incidents of violent disruptions, arson, vandalism and intimidation at the
Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and the University of the Western
“Government cannot and will not tolerate the threat to lives and destruction of property,
and requests university management to tighten up security at all campuses to ensure
the safety of all students and workers,” Nzimande said.
Arson, vandalism, and intimidation, according to Nzimande, cannot be justified by and
cannot be connected to any acceptable forms of protest. It must be “unambiguously
condemned by all, including by student leaders themselves,” he said.
According to reports, several grievances led to the clashes that played out last week on
campuses between students, campus security and the police. Chief among these are
changes made to some of the terms of student funding from the State.
Nzimande appealed to both universities to work with law enforcement agencies to
ensure that perpetrators of these criminal acts are exposed and that the necessary
disciplinary actions are taken against all students who are involved.
To resolve genuine student concerns, Nzimande said, the Department of Higher
Education and Training, together with the National Student Financial Aid Scheme
(NSFAS), has been consulting stakeholders at the universities – including the Student
Representative Council (SRC) – to resolve the impasse.
Nzimande also urged everyone to maintain their composure and keep taking part in the
He stated that he will be waiting for a thorough report from the consultation processes
as well as a plan of action.