Statement by the UCT Trust (UK)

3 Nov 2016 - 21:00

The Trustees of the University of Cape Town Trust (UK), at their board meeting on 3 November 2016;

  • noted with the deepest concern the continuing reports of violent protest on the UCT campus, with repeated attacks on persons and property and the consequent suspension of the normal calendar of teaching and examinations, which had led to the issuing of an interdict by the High Court on 26 October;
  • expressed their support and admiration for the Vice-Chancellor and his senior colleagues, in the face of these unprecedented events in the history of the University, for their personal courage, their unshakeable determination to maintain the University’s cardinal principles of freedom of teaching and research, as well as to meet the University’s duty to all of its students to ensure their personal security and access to the teaching which is their right;
  • called upon any students involved in the protests to recognize that lasting damage to the University and its principles would not only harm their own life chances, but would be a betrayal of the right to education of their fellow students and of future student generations;
  • called upon the South African Government to recognize its own share in the situation that has given rise to student unrest in many parts of the country, and to take every step to reinstate the constitutional values of peaceful protest and the right to education;
  • reiterated their determination, as Trustees, to support the University and its values, and to redouble their efforts to promote knowledge of the University's outstanding achievements in teaching and research, and notably research of strikingly high quality with social, medical, environmental, economic and educational relevance in a South African and African context.
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