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The UCT Senate passes two motions in favour of Palestine

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By Kouthar Sambo

Various pro-Palestine students and activists at the University of Cape Town (UCT) advocated for the university’s senate to pass two motions in favour of Palestine at the senate meeting.

Speaking on VOC’s Drive Time on Monday, a UCT master’s student in politics, Muminah Salie, explained the power dynamic of authorities on the campus.

“The UCT Senate is made up of UCT heads of department of some academics and professors, and once the UCT vote on a motion, that motion is debated, and then it gets approved,” said Salie.

It then goes up to the UCT Council, explained Salie, and they are left with the choice to accept it or accept it with amendments.

“The students have been mobilizing with academics, workers, and alumni, to try and motivate people on the senate to vote in favour of Palestine,” added Salie.

There were two motions, reiterated Salie, the first motion was to declare what anti-Semitism constitutes, which does not include any criticism of the Israeli state.

According to Salie, the second motion was that UCT academic staff, alumni, and students could not associate with anybody in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF).

“We have not reached a full academic boycott yet, but that is something we are working towards,” clarified Salie.

Furthermore, Salie cited the numerous pushback received by pro-Palestine students to ensure that UCT maintains relations with Israel.

“UCT is one of the biggest academic collaborators with Israel on the African continent. We have partnered with quite a few Israeli universities and academics on projects and over 2000 journal articles. If we lose that, Israel also has a lot of standing in terms of academia,” detailed Salie.

Photo: PSF/Instagram

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