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UCT professor lays charges after protesters intimidate chemical engineering department

By Tanya Farber | Oct 19, 2016 | COMMENTS [ 4 ]

A UCT professor has gone to the Rondebosch Police Station in his personal capacity to lay charges against protesters.

“This is exactly like if someone broke into my house‚” said Professor Harro Von Blottnitz‚ deputy head of the chemical engineering department. “This is not a law-free zone‚ and whatever you do or don’t think of the protesters’ cause‚ this is not a law-free zone.”

This was after fire alarms were set off‚ and staff and research students were intimidated by protesters on Wednesday who warned them‚ “This (chemical engineering building) is the most dangerous building on campus” because of the laboratories and substances housed there.

 The two charges laid were for interfering with equipment meant for health and safety purposes‚ and intimidation.

Von Blottnitz said the tactic of repeatedly setting off the fire alarm when there was no fire was a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1993.

It can result in a one-year jail sentence‚ a fine of R50‚000‚ or both.

The second charge was in response to staff and research students being threatened by aggressive speeches made by the protest leaders.

TMG Digital obtained video footage of an incident outside the chemical engineering department‚ in which a student leader using a megaphone questioned whether it was wise to be there‚ as it was “the most dangerous faculty on campus”. He questioned the arrogance of the faculty‚ which was functioning on Wednesday‚ reminding staff that UCT was “the only university that has not burnt yet”.

Von Blottnitz said he had not known of any other staff who had laid charges in their personal capacity‚ but on arrival at the police station‚ he saw that someone else had laid a charge regarding the breaking down of a door in the physics department.



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Way to go Prof. The fight back campaign against lawlessnists, entitlementists is in full swing...victory to reclaim our universities is in full swing.

Oct 19, 2016 7:15 | 0 replies


Bravo brave one out of thousands. These other lecturers are a disgrace - either putting their head in the sand or supporting this criminal spree on campuses.

Oct 19, 2016 8:35 | 0 replies


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Oct 20, 2016 6:40 | 0 replies


A least someone at UCT has some management skills and balls, the spineless Max Price is much like the Rhodes Statue stands watches and does nothing, no wonder he wanted it removed, did not like the competition, the Statue might have a claim against his fat salary.

Oct 20, 2016 6:59 | 0 replies