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UCT protests shut down campus

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The University of Cape Town (UCT) has been shutdown due to ongoing protests against proposed fee increases.

A nationwide fees hike protest has hit UCT hard, with all lectures, academic operations, library facilities and transport services either shut or suspended until the protests simmer down.

“No one can come to campus because the drive ways have been blocked. Jammie shuttle services are not working and people are stranded in the CBD and Claremont. It is exams next week and we were all ushered out of the library. We have to study,” says Muslim Student Association (MSA) events and project co-ordinator Aisha Hamdulay.

Suspended Jammie shuttle services have also left students at surrounding campuses without any means of transport.

“People at middle and lower campus can walk but students at Hiddighing and Claremont campuses are left stranded,” says Hamdulay.

The university decided to take the drastic step after all entrances to university facilities had been barricaded by protesters. Management has however reassured that its number one priority is the safety of students and staff.

“The decision serves to prevent an escalation and to allow us to do the work to bring the university back to safety and normal operations,” says the executive director of the UCT’s Communication and Marketing Department, Gerda Kruger.

The protest action has also spilled into the upper campus library.

“They blocked the doorway and we were all told to leave the library. The doorway was covered in faeces,” says a UCT staff member.

“It was chaos. They have been forcing other students to join and won’t let anyone enter the area. These kids have exams soon that they have to study for.”

The university will be closed until further notice. VOC (Nailah Cornelissen)

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