Police evict CPUT students from admin building

Students have been sleeping on the floor for weeks

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Photo of women sleeping in corridor
CPUT students have been sleeping in corridors in the administration building for weeks. Photo: Velani Ludidi

Police removed a group of students occupying the sixth floor of the administration building of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s (CPUT) District Six campus on Tuesday.

The students, mostly women, have been sleeping in corridors on various floors of the building for several weeks.

CPUT is facing an accommodation crisis this year which led to the erection by students of shacks on the Bellville campus two weeks ago.

The students are now accusing the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) of giving rooms to friends.

“Some of us have been here since the 5 February yet nothing has happened,” said Angel Ntlothe. SRC members were telling students that they were negotiating new accommodation “just to buy time” while they gave rooms to their friends, said Ntlothe.

In a video seen by GroundUp, police can be seen pushing the students away from the offices. Some students are crying and others are asking the police where they should go as they do not have a place to sleep.

Spokesperson for CPUT Lauren Kansely confirmed that police had been on campus on Tuesday after a group of students occupied the sixth floor of the admin building.

“The students were removed,” she said. “We understand that the issue is the demand for student housing. CPUT has always communicated transparently with the group and explained that while every effort is made to meet the demand for residence placements, we cannot be responsible for every person who demands a place in student housing.”

Other students sleeping on floors and chairs at the Catsville Hall in Mowbray were students who “expect to jump the residence queue ahead of those who applied on time and meet the requirements,” Kansely said. “A place in residence is subject to stringent requirements like a minimum 60% pass.”

The District Six campus SRC was unavailable for comment.

Police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana confirmed that a group of students who tried to occupy the sixth floor of the building on the District Six Campus had been “removed”. No one had been arrested.

Correction: The article originally said classes were cancelled on Wednesday which made it appear that management had cancelled classes. Kansley says, “Classes have never been cancelled this year, ever.” However, GroundUp is aware that some lecturers did cancel their classes on Wednesday.

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