OPINION

UCT condemns RMF’s vandalism and violence

Gerda Kruger says actions of group's members is criminal, university concerned for safety of students and staff

UCT condemns RMF’s vandalism and violence

16 February 2016

The executive management of the University of Cape Town has issued the below statement to the campus community in light of what has been happening on campus since this afternoon:

16 February 2016

Dear colleagues and students

Rhodes Must Fall received from the executive this afternoon a letter to ask them to move the shack that they had erected to another location nearby so as to ensure that the traffic flow, movement of students and staff can function uninterrupted. We made it clear that their right to lawful protest action is assured but that the shack interferes with University of Cape Town operations, including causing a backlog to the M3 traffic.

We also delivered to Rhodes Must Fall a letter asking them to vacate Avenue Hall by 12h00 on Friday this week. We have made repeated attempts to engage RMF on the matter of Avenue Hall and even to discuss the issue of alternative space but they have dismissed any attempt at engagement. They refuse to speak with the executive but consistently verbally abuse and threaten.

This afternoon the group collected stones and sticks and made a public call that people should erect shacks on UCT campus and come onto campus to protect RMF from “the attack by Police”. 

In the early evening the group entered Smuts Hall, Fuller Hall and Jameson Hall, removing artwork from the walls and burning it. They are traumatising wardens and students and vandalising. Several bins have been set alight.

The behaviour by RMF members is criminal and has exceeded all possible limits of lawful protest action. We are deeply concerned for the safety of students and staff. 

We call on students to refrain from supporting RMF in these actions and to vacate the area.

Gerda Kruger

Executive Director

Communication and Marketing

Issued by UCT, 16 February 2016