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Fees protests: UCT applies for urgent interim interdict

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The University of Cape Town (UCT) is putting its foot down and has lodged an urgent Western Cape High Court application to halt further protest action at the campus.

Although the application will only be heard next week, it has been given temporary relief that prohibits any disruptions over the next few days.

The university wants the court to grant it an interim interdict prohibiting students from participating in unlawful protest action that may disrupt regular schooling and decision-making at the institution.

A list of disruptions it wants to have interdicted include:

• blockades

• class disruptions

• the occupation of buildings

• the destroying or damaging of property

• the erection of barricades

• the incitement of violence

• intimidation, threats, persuasion or coercion

• the prevention of staff from accessing buildings, transport, or any public road on campus or adjoining the campus

Unlawful protesters should also be interdicted from carrying weapons, including sticks, whips, rocks, and stones.

Activating fire alarms should only be done for legitimate reasons.

The university says in its papers that unlawful gatherings or protests within 200 metres from the entrances to the university, exam venues, libraries, computer and research labs should be interdicted.

Unlawful protests shouldn’t disrupt students from pursuing their studies, intimidate students or employers from continuing their work, or impede employees from doing their jobs, the papers state.

The Student Representative Council (SRC) has been notified of the court application via email and a copy of the Notice of Motion has been posted outside libraries, on the institution’s Facebook page, and on its website.

Anyone intending to oppose the application has until November 20 to file a notice of their intention to oppose and file answering affidavits by December 4.

The court application comes after a fresh wave of Fees Must Fall protests at the campus that led the university to shut down and cancel classes.

The protesting students are calling on President Jacob Zuma to release the much-anticipated Fees Commission Report and for the university to drop charges against students involved in the Fees Must Fall movement.

The application is expected to be heard on Monday.

In the interim, the university has been given temporary relief that entitles it to approach the court urgently in the event of any incidents before the hearing.

[Source: News24]
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