To protect the rights to freedom of speech and religious beliefs at UCT
This petition had 4,733 supporters
1. For Zizipho to be reinstated to her position in the SRC.
Clause 2.3 of the SRC Constitution provides a number of grounds upon which a person’s membership of the SRC is terminated. These are when the person ceases to be a UCT student; resigns from the SRC; or has had two motions of censure passed on him/her during a single term of office by the SRC. One of the relevant grounds of censure are listed as:
d) Bringing the name of the SRC into disrepute by being found guilty of a serious offence in the University disciplinary structures
None of the above grounds of termination of SRC membership are applicable to the present situation – Zizipho is still a UCT student, she has not resigned from the SRC and no motions of censure have been passed against her. Therefore her membership of the SRC cannot be lawfully terminated.
In case the SRC intends to institute censure proceedings, we wish to point out that the SRC Constitution does not detail the procedure for passing motions of censure or for the suspension of members from their office. We remind the SRC and UCT that any disciplinary and related procedures have to observe the principles of natural justice. In particular, adequate and proper written notice ought to be given to Zizipho and her rights to reply and to representation, ought to be upheld.
2. For the SRC and UCT management to protect Zizipho by openly condemning the actions of those who have violated Zizipho's rights at her office.
Zizipho has been the target of intimidation and indirect violence. Some individuals went to her office and tore down the biblical scriptures she had put on her wall and replaced them with threatening messages. Further, they took pictures of themselves in provocative poses in Zizipho’s office - yet both incidences have not incurred disciplinary action for those involved. Ironically, Zizipho is the intended subject of SRC disciplinary processes. We call upon UCT and the SRC to condemn acts of violence and intimidation against Zizipho, with the same speed with which they have disassociated themselves from her statement and declared solidarity with those who object to her statement.
3. We believe that UCT should protect Zizipho from the members of the LGBTI society and promote an environment where people can express their differences, beliefs and causes in an acceptable, reasonable and fair manner.
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