Wits SRC meets to plot ‘way forward’ after intervention by Madonsela

Wits students protest following Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande's announcement of an 8% cap on fee increases on 19 September 2016, with some calling for an immediate shutdown of the institution. Image by: Alon Skuy
Wits students protest following Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande’s announcement of an 8% cap on fee increases on 19 September 2016, with some calling for an immediate shutdown of the institution.
Image by: Alon Skuy

The University of the Witwatersrand’s Student Representative Council (SRC) was to hold meetings on Thursday morning to discuss “a way forward”

It also‚ via its Twitter account – Wits SRC ‏@WitsSRC ‚ said on Wednesday that the “#WitsCurfew has been lifted for tonight after intervention from various public figures including Thuli Madonsela”.

The former public protector had told students: “I believe that we have to bring government on board. We have to indicate to government that this is what we are demanding and this is what we are able to settle for.”

But‚ Madonsela added: “Let us make sure that there is peace.”

The SRC had also tweeted of the 10pm curfew: “We will not allow Habib’s apartheid tactics to go unchallenged.”

Wits vice-chancellor Professor Adam Habib said on Wednesday night that management “are disappointed that people felt that we should exit” a peace accord meeting “hosted by the Academic Staff Association of Wits University‚ church leaders and others at the Holy Trinity Church”.

“We were asked to attend the meeting and through our presence to indicate our support for peaceful resolution and constructive negotiation. We have always said that we are open to engaging with students‚” said Habib.

“We have repeatedly been accused of not wanting to meet students. We have reached out on several occasions and today is an example of where we were once again willing to engage‚ to no avail.”

Angry students at the meeting called for Habib to leave‚ with some accusing him of being responsible for the arrest of student activist Mcebo Dlamini.

Dlamini was denied bail at the Johannesburg Magistrates Court on Wednesday‚ where he appeared on charges including theft‚ being in possession of dangerous weapons‚ damage to property and assaulting a police officer.

Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command leader at Wits‚ Vuyani Pambo‚ told students and workers outside court that the denial of bail to Mcebo marked the start of an intense protest.

“Today‚ they are testing us. I want to say one thing and one thing only‚ that we must not retreat and we must not surrender. The best thing we can do for those who were arrested and for those that are coming after us is to make sure that Wits University feels the wrath that we have‚” Pambo said to loud cheers. – TMG Digital

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