University of Stellenbosch
Students at the University of Stellenbosch marched to the university administration building and handed over a list of demands to vice-chancellor Prof. Wim de Villiers on 13 May. Among the claims made by the students was that the university’s language policy excludes students who do not speak Afrikaans. After two hours of protests, the group’s demand to speak with vice-rector Prof. Arnold Schoonwinkel was finally met. Prof. Schoonwinkel said that the university is committed to transformation and that the university management will be meeting up with the group on Wednesday to hear their complaints.
University of Cape Town (UCT)
UCT has suspended a student over a racial altercation. Chumani Maxwele was involved in a confrontation with a UCT staff member on 1 May. He was subsequently accused of harassing, threatening and racially attacking the staff member. Maxwele, who notably led the Rhodes Must Fall campaign that resulted in the removal of the Cecil John Rhodes statue, said in a statement on 14 May that he would be appealing his suspension. UCT has meanwhile announced that Maxwele would be suspended for five weeks but would still be allowed to write his June exams.
A dispute has come up again between UCT management and supporters of the Rhodes Must Fall movement. The supporters of the movement have been occupying UCT’s Avenue House for three weeks and it has been dubbed “Azania House”. According to Chumani Maxwele, the reason behind the occupation of Avenue House is that the Rhodes Must Fall group had not been assigned office space as previously promised by UCT.
University of Fort Hare
The Fort Hare SRC election results were announced on 1 May, with some very unexpected outcomes. Daso, for the first time in the university’s history, claimed a 52.5% majority in the SRC elections. The results of the election come as a surprise as the university has historically been an ANC stronghold with illustrious alumni such as Thabo Mbeki, Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo.