CUT’s media statement on the appeal against the sanction of expulsion of students

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Central University of Technology, Free State would like to make the final outcome of the student appeal against their expulsion known to the broader community. The students are to be suspended for 12 months (as from 21 July 2014). On their return to campus, a suspended sentence of expulsion will remain with them for a period of 3 years. The 12 students are also banned from holding Student Representative Council (SRC) office throughout this period. It was found that the 6 SRC members could be allowed to continue as their conduct was unbecoming a leader; they have been removed from office with immediate effect.

The disciplinary committee at Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT) imposed in May this year a sanction of expulsion on 12 students (find May communique on the matter here) after they were found guilty of misconduct and violent behaviour including direct involvement and participation in the disruptions of CUT academic and administrative processes and intimidation of staff and students.

This sanction was a result of violent protest by these students on 31 January and on 3 February 2014. There was a violent attempted hijacking of the university and its processes by a group of students who had been charged and sanctioned. The incident took place while university management and officials were helping other students to register for 2014. Safety and security of students, parents and officials was at risk, as they were threatened and intimidated by those who stormed into the registration centre at the time.

“So many of our students and staff, the parents and the public at large who may have been at our premises, were traumatised. Their lives and careers could not be any less important than those of the 12 students,” said Professor Thandwa Mthembu, Vice-Chancellor and Principal at CUT at the time of the expulsion in May.