UCT suspends student over racial altercation with staff member

It’s believed the student in question is activist Chumani Maxwele who led Rhodes Must Fall campaign.

FILE: It’s believed the student in question is activist Chumani Maxwele (with mic) who led Rhodes Must Fall campaign. Picture: Masa Kekana/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The University of Cape Town (UCT) on Thursday confirmed it's suspended a student over an alleged racial altercation with a staff member.

It's believed the student in question is self-styled activist Chumani Maxwele who led the so-called Rhodes Must Fall campaign.

The movement claims it's now being victimised by the university.

Moments before the briefing, UCT's investigator served one of the students with a suspension letter from management.

The student rejected the letter at first but ultimately accepted it.

UCT's Gerda Kruger said the suspension follows an incident between the student and staff member that allegedly took place a week ago.

"It's alleged that the student intimidated, harassed and threatened as well as racially abused a member of staff."

However, the student has told Eyewitness News it was a staff member who racially attacked him.

"Then she said to me, these recent political acts of our savage black students, we can't allow it anymore."

The student is expected to appear before the disciplinary tribunal next week.

Student activists at UCT who formed part of the Rhodes Must Fall movement fear they too will face disciplinary action.

Postgraduate students Mbali Matandela said other activists have also been warned they could face action.

"Recently we received an email from the vice-chancellor himself saying that with our new occupation that students are going to face charges."