Gaza: UCT senate calls for ceasefire

In a statement it also called for “the release of hostages and unlawfully held prisoners”

Only small groups of people were seen roaming around the University of Cape Town on Monday afternoon after all classes were suspended. Photo: Ashraf Hendricks

By Ella Morrison

20 November 2023

UCT has called for a ceasefire in Gaza. Archive photo: Ashraf Hendricks

The University of Cape Town (UCT) Senate has, in a very brief statement, called for “an immediate ceasefire and passage of humanitarian aid to Gaza, and the release of hostages and unlawfully held prisoners”. This follows a meeting held by the Senate on 17 November. Over 70 members of the law faculty made similar demands last week.

On 7 November, nearly 100 academics and students called for academic boycotts against Israeli universities at a multi-faith vigil. Academic Ruchi Chatuverdi, among other speakers, called on UCT to follow the University of Johannesburg’s 2011 decision to cut ties with Israel’s Ben Gurion University after a fact-finding mission found the university “guilty of institutional complicity and active collaboration” with apartheid policies in Occupied Palestine, she said in her speech.

A recent article in Africa is a Country claimed that UCT of all South African universities has the most collaboration with Israeli academics.

In the current war, Israel has reportedly bombed the Islamic University of Gaza, Al Azhar University and schools. It has also been reported that Israeli forces raided Birzeit University near Ramallah on the West Bank.