Hunderds of students at UCT are disappointed that Vice-Chancellor (VC) Dr Max Price did not arrive to address them today, outside the Bremner administrative building.
University management announced earlier that it will close all campuses until Friday 7 October.
UCT student Skhumbuzo Jwara explains that Price did not show up at a mass meeting, and instead brought the Deputy Vice-Chancellors (DVCs) to speak to the group.
We were very disappointed that he didn't show up, which has been the general frustration since the beginning of his protests.— Skhumbuzo Jwara, UCT student and SRC candidate
It seems as though the university and the VC doesn't want to come down and talk to us. All Max Price needs to do is come speak to us and engage.— Skhumbuzo Jwara, UCT student and SRC candidate
Jwara explains that the group wanted to discuss the terms under which they would negotiate with management.
- dropping the interdict against students who were involved in Shackville protests and allowing them access to campus to join talks.
- the need for a TRC process among all stakeholders on campus.
- calling for SRC elections to be suspended until all grievances are resolved.
Jwara criticised Max Price for his failure to address the student body, and his constant communique with the media - which he says is misleading.
He dismissed the narrative that protesters intend to destroy the academic year, and explained that they are willing to resume under the right circumstances.
There's a micharacterisation by Max Price that protesting students don't want to go back to class.— Skhumbuzo Jwara, UCT student and SRC candidate
He says that Price's unwillingness to engage and the increased private security presence on campus has incited the students.
Jwara encouraged the public and university community to interrogate all press releases and news regarding protest action.
Listen to the full conversation from The John Maytham Show (with Richard Calland):