Today's Big Stories

UCT prof pleads with protestors to end disruptions, avoid private security

UCT professor Nicola Illing has urged student protesters to put an end to academic disruptions come Monday, 3 October.

She has asked that students refrain from barricading the campus entrances, to grant access to those who want to return to lectures next week, and to avoid increased security measures.

My plea to students is not to lie down on the road, or put stones or bins in the road. If they avoid doing that, then we won't need security. At the same time, my plea is for them not to disrupt lectures.

Nicola Illing, UCT Professor

Illing was part of a group of students and academics at UCT who held a silent demonstration on the Jameson Hall stairs on Upper Campus, demanding that classes resume come Monday.

This follows after UCT vice-chancellor Max Price warned that the university could shut down until 2017, if student protests continue.

Illing says the demonstration was peaceful and attended by a group of about 2 000 people.

At the same time, a separate group of approximately 100 demonstrators where chanting and protesting on the Jammie Plaza.

The professor explains that the silent protesters want a resolution of the financial issues surrounding higher education - which is not synonymous with the ideal of free tertiary education.

She says over 80% of the science faculty's students want classes to resume on Monday.

Students clearly want to come back and learn. Academics want to teach.

Nicola Illing, UCT Professor

It remains to be seen whether lectures will resume yet.

Listen to the full conversation from The John Maytham Show (with Koketso Sachane):

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