By: Simbarashe Nyatsanza
The Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s Cape Town campus has been temporarily closed today after a major protest was staged by a group of students in support of the recently suspended #CPUT4 and disputes regarding the process of insourcing workers.
Police and private security, armed with riot gear, were visibly on standby on various spots across the campus this morning, ‘in the event of any activity’, as reported on the official CPUT Facebook page.
Later, according to eye witness reports, stunt shots were fired by private security at the protestersrs, allegedly in an effort to wade them off campus and dispel the growing crowd.
It is also being alleged that the protesters launched an arson attack on the campus’ Design Building, and this led to an open and violent clash with the private security, that spilt into Roeland Street.
Non-protesting students and staff were unable to access the institution’s facilities and an official statement was released by the university management encouraging them to leave the campus.
Today’s shutdown is the latest in a series of protests against the university by students and student bodies who are citing a number of legitimate grievances, the most recent being the suspension of four CPUT student leaders on charges of trespassing and unlawful conduct.
Meanwhile at Bellville Campus students and workers resolved to go to the Cape Town campus after visiting Cape Town campus students were barred from entering the Bellville Campus by private security and police on Monday afternoon. The students and workers were set to meet at Cape Town to find a way forward to the current impasse relating to the suspension of other student leaders and the disputes over insourcing processes, however the protests turned violent.
CPUT released a statement on its Facebook page on Monday evening advising its community that classes will resume on Tuesday morning.