The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) today denied that the concert that will be held at Wits is for Jews only.
President of SAJBD Zev Krengel said in a letter to Wits Vuvuzela that the claims, are a “desperate last-ditch tactic to discredit” the Daniel Zamir concert that will be held at Wits on August 28. Krengel did not deny the validity of the recordings but said they were a “response by an independent contractor engaged to sell tickets, who had simply misunderstood what the brief was.”
On Monday Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) released two recordings which they say is “proof of ethnic racism and profiling practiced” by some of the organisers of the concert.
The recordings involve two people whom BDS allege are the “organisers” of the concert, saying there were measures taken to make the concert a “Jewish only” one. According to the recordings the organisers also bought out all the tickets. This is apparently to conduct background checks on those who tried to buy tickets.
“Those making these accusations are the self-same activists whose members were responsible for the disgraceful break-up of a piano recital by an Israeli musician on the same campus earlier this year,” said Krengel.
He was referring to the concert by an Israeli musician that was “disrupted” in March. Eleven Wits student who were part of the protest at that concert were later charged by Wits for “possible contravention of the university’s codes of conduct”.[pullquote align=”right”]”Bullying tactics of those who do not scruple to undermine those freedoms in order to push their own radical political agendas.” [/pullquote]
A Wits PhD student, Serge Tshibangu, said the allegations made by BDS were false because he had ordered a ticket and had received confirmation of the order, even though he is “African”: I totally disagree that it is a racist concert.”
Tshibangu said he ordered his tickets on Monday. He had to give his full names and identification number to buy the ticket but he understood it was so his ID number could be checked by Campus Control officers when he arrived at the concert.
Krengel said he “applauded Wits University for upholding the democratic values and freedoms that have made it so fine an academic institution and for its forthright rejection of the intimidatory, bullying tactics of those who do not scruple to undermine those freedoms in order to push their own radical political agendas.”
BDS has said it would protest outside the event.