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16/11/2015

STATEMENT ON VIOLENCE AND DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY AT PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES - by Universities South Africa (USA)
The on-going wanton acts of violence and destruction of property at the University of the Western Cape, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, and some of our other institutions, are unacceptable and must not be tolerated. As the leadership of universities in South Africa, we condemn these senseless acts that are intent on not only destroying our facilities but also denying the right of access to the majority of our students and staff members. We respect the rights of those who wish to protest lawfully but we cannot under any circumstances condone acts of violence and criminality. We have to balance the right of lawful protest with the rights of those who want to learn and work.
 
Following our meetings with President Jacob Zuma, Minister Blade Nzimande and government officials on the issues raised by students, there have been prolonged and concerted efforts to engage with students and work towards reaching agreements on the various issues tabled. Despite our continued engagement to find solutions to these institutional and sectoral challenges, there are still some students who resort to violent and destructive acts that cast not only our universities but the entire higher education system, in a negative light both nationally and globally. We call on our student leadership and other stakeholder groups to act with restraint and to use the opportunities provided to raise and deal with their issues in a non-violent and constructive manner.
 
For more information please contact:
 
Dr Oliver Seale – Acting Chief Executive Officer, Universities South Africa
Tel: 012 481 2842 / 072 807 4677