Protesting UCT students burn historic paintings, refuse to leave

They accused UCT of favouring white students over their black counterparts when allocating residence rooms.

FILE: #RhodesMustFall students protest against a lack of spaces in residences at UCT by erecting a shack on campus. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Students occupying the steps of Jameson Hall on the University of Cape Town (UCT) campus are refusing to leave the area after burning paintings earlier today.

The paintings are believed to have represented the colonial era but further details aren't available.

UCT students have also ignored a deadline to remove a shack placed there to highlight a lack of residences.

They have accused UCT of favouring white students over their black counterparts when allocating rooms at residences.

Fifty students are sitting on the steps of the the hall with public order police nearby.

Tonight, students are continuing to make speeches in front of the controversial shack.

A while ago, a number of students began demolishing a shack erected on the Jameson Hall steps at UCT in response to a move by private security guards to demolish it themselves.

Public Order Police then dispersed the students using stun grenades. The protestors responded with a short barrage of stones after which the security guards began sweeping the campus, making two arrests.

A security vehicle had it windows smashed and shortly thereafter a UCT Conservation Unit vehicle was set on fire.

As another student was being arrested by police, a Jammie shuttle was set ablaze.

Currently there is a tense standoff between police and students, with some students hurling insults at police.