International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Universities in Cape Town Closed Due to Protesting Students


Several universities throughout Cape Town, South Africa are closing for periods of time as a result of protesting students clashing with police authorities. The photo above shows students protesting outside of the University of Cape Town (UCT). I found this article particularly interesting because I will be studying abroad at UCT next semester, and this school was forced to shut down for the past two weeks due to the escalation of disruptions. Three other universities have suspended classes as well. These students are demanding lower tuition costs and better living conditions at the universities, especially for black students. Many statements made by students include how their complaints stem from the title “black academics” being given to the black students, but white students are not called “white academics”, just academics. Protesting students complain that their tax money paid to run the university is reinforcing white privilege. There are escalating instances of violence among the universities between protesters and police forces. Police have been firing rubber bullets and stun grenades at protesters. In one occasion, a large amount of students were brutalized, victimized and beaten by private security guards and police when they tried to collect their belongings from inside of a residence building after being asked to leave the premises. Students plan to continue with the protests, calling UCT a “white supremacy institution”.



2 responses to “Universities in Cape Town Closed Due to Protesting Students

  1. srisku October 7, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    The post-apartheid era of South Africa has recently been riddled with protests for equality. It is surprising that a country who suffered from apartheid is still experiencing mass amounts of inequality especially in the educational system. The protests have become violent as they have spread to more than half of the universities in South Africa. In one instance a library was burned down at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Students are calling on universities to lower their cost of education in order to create equality among the student population; however, the government released a statement saying costs could potentially rise by 8%. Studies have been released stating that South Africa still currently remains one of the most unequal societies. If universities were to lower their costs, inequality would decrease among student populations and graduation rates.

    • Yacoob October 14, 2016 at 3:38 pm

      It’s not just about fees. The students see this as their revolution. Their 1976. In a sense, it’s also a huge statement against a government that is really not living up to expectations, as characterised by a president with a scandalous record of self-enrichment, and is squirming his way out of trouble over and over again. It was bound to explode at some point, and we now may have reached the tipping point.

      For your sake, I really hope things are resolved soon – or you might not get the chance to come to UCT at all…which is a shame because we have one of the most amazing campuses in the world.

      Deep-rooted issues need to be addressed, but they cannot be solved by force on either side…

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