Classes disrupted amid gender violence protest at a CPUT campus

Eyewitness News has been told of gender violence protests under way at CPUT’s Mowbray campus in Cape Town.

FILE: The Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN – Eyewitness News has been told of gender violence protests under way at CPUT’s Mowbray campus in Cape Town.

This student told EWN her lecture was disrupted.

“We were in Afrikaans class. We heard them singing downstairs. After a while, they came upstairs. They were banging on the doors and came in. They demanded that we come out. We decided to sit down, but they said if we refused they’d get violent with us. A girl spoke to us and said they were waiting on the vice-chancellor to meet their demands.”

On Monday, CPUT staff members and students assembled for a day of mourning on the Bellville Campus.

The SRC’s Melikhaya Gogo said the student’s demands were handed to university management on Monday. Gogo said the protests were expected to spread to other CPUT campuses.

“We support our female students and we need the demands of our students to be met.”

However, CPUT’s Lauren Kansley said lectures would continue across campuses.

“CPUT has experienced isolated incidents of class disruptions. There are agitations from certain student groupings that all campuses should be shut down completely over gender-based violence. The institution has already dedicated two days to the issue.”

This follows a wave of violence perpetrated against women and widespread protests against gender violence.

Last week, a CPUT nursing student was abducted outside Tygerberg Hospital and sexually assault.

The Cape Peninsula University of Technology nursing student received medical treatment and counselling at Karl Bremer Hospital's Thuthuzela Care centre.

Officials said that she was released after her attack. They added that they had visited the victim and would assist her on the path to healing.