The Student Affairs (DSA) office at Wits University has responded to the pleas from the Wits EFF to feed hungry students on campus. On April 17, members of the student organisation stormed the main dining hall on campus to take surplus food for hungry students after, they claimed, students had contacted them for assistance. In response the office of Dr Pamela Dube, the Dean of Students, has responded with positive solutions.
Wits EFF chairperson, Vuyani Pambo told Wits Vuvuzela that his organisation is quite happy with the solutions being implemented: “That is the victory that the action got.”
During the dining hall incident, members of Wits EFF chanted that “Students cannot achieve academic excellence on an empty stomach”.
According to the DSA, some of the solutions include:
• The provision of an online form which a needy student has to complete before receiving assistance; So far, 17 students have benefitted from this resolution.
• A needy student is allocated 10 meals from the dining hall then provided with a meal pack from the Wits Food Bank run by the Wits Citizenship and Community Outreach (WCCO), depending on the individual needs of the student. The Food Bank packs contain Stop Hunger Now meal packs.
The DSA says it is also in discussions with the SRC (Student Representatives Council) and Bhakti Yoga society about getting hot meals twice a week from the Hare Krishna Movement, who will soon set up a kitchen at Constitution Hill to feed the hungry local residents. The Wits Food Bank is also planning to work with the national Food Sovereignty Campaign to possibly establish food gardens on campus.
Pambo called on fellow students and staff to donate non-perishable food to help those in need.
Wits campus organisation, ProjectW issued their official statement this week in response to the SRC president’s comments about Hitler. The organisation which forms part of the Wits SRC, described Dlamini’s comments as “reckless”, “offensive” and “criminal”, and said they were tantamount to hate speech.
The unedited version of the statement is reproduced below:
“Dear South Africa
On the 26th of April the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) Student Representative
Council (SRC) President Mcebo Dlamini/Sisulu made several comments on Facebook,
he further went on to make statements on various television channels . The effect of these
comments was that
• He loves Adolf Hitler.
• All white people have some Adolf Hitler in them.
• Every white person has an element of hate in them .
• Hitler had great charisma and organizational skills and is worthy of admiration
The SRC constitution states in its preamble that
1. The Students’ Representative Council is committed to exemplary student leadership in
defining the African Century.
2. it will uphold and safeguard the rights of all the students of the University of the
The statements made by Mr Dlamini/ Sisulu are in clear contravention of these two guiding
principles . This is not exemplary behavior. The view that all white people have a bit of
Hitler in them is a clear racist attack and is tantamount to hate speech . The University
belongs to all who attend, this includes white students , to perpetuate hate to a group
against students of this university is not the job of the SRC and is not upholding their rights
to dignity and safety.
Section 2 of the constitution of the University clearly stipulates that our founding values are
based on :
(1) Upholding, respecting and promoting the founding values of the Constitution of the Republic of
South Africa 1996 and the rights contained in the Bill of Rights.
(2) Providing democratic, transparent, effective, accountable and coherent student leadership.
(3) Creating and sustaining an enabling academic environment and vibrant student community
striving for excellence, tolerance and respect for diversity.
(4) Representing the best interests of the student community.
It is evident that Mr Dlamini/ Sisulus statements are in contravention with the ideals of the
Constitution of South Africa and are in the realm of hate speech . It is also clear that these
statements are not in the best interests of the University community broadly , they cause
pain and stigma to several constituents of the university and in addition they bring the
University into disrepute.
The comments made by Mr Dlamini/ Sisulu are also in contravention of rule 18 of the
University which stipulate that no student may act in contempt of the University or act in
ways which bring the University into disrepute. In no way can this level of contravention
be acknowledged as justifiable and ProjectW denounces this as rhetorical hooliganism.
The outcomes of which are the endorsement of Adolf Hitler as a role model. The
veneration of his strategic organization is devoid of ethical considerations . The ends
clearly do not justify the means in the case of Adolf Hitler and the statements made by Mr
Dlamini are a celebration of means for the sake of celebrating means. Tactics can not be
examined with adulation if their outcome is to conjugate hate and perpetuate crimes
against humanity .
It is common cause that Adolf Hitler was a promoter of Eugenics , that he was a war
monger and above that a mass murderer. Hitler was anti black , anti homosexual, anti
women empowerment as well as being violently hateful to the Jewish community . The
extent of his evil are traumatizing to even consider. The hero worshipping of such a man
by influential student leaders , especially from a university with the gravitas of Wits can
reasonably lead to impressionable young minds viewing Adolf Hitler as a credible example
of leadership to emulate.
This form of speech is reckless, it is offensive and it is criminal.
We call upon the Vice Chancellor of the University to exercise his powers of suspension
under rule 1 of the Rules for student discipline to suspend Mcebo Dlamini from the SRC
pending the outcomes of an investigation into his original statements and his subsequent
defense of them.
With the passing of Freedom Day on Monday, and so much talk about Xenophobia and racism, it is sometimes best to remember those who fought for freedom in our land and elsewhere, portrayed through film.
We have compiled a list of the top 10 most popular movies about the struggle for freedom in South Africa, according to their popularity on the IMDB (Internet Movie Database). So if you are hyped up or stressed about the events in our country in the past few weeks, take some time to relax with some popcorn this weekend with a few of these movies:
1. Cry Freedom
South African journalist Donald Woods (Kevin Kline) is forced to flee the country after attempting to investigate the death in custody of his friend of Steve Biko (Denzel Washington).
Mcebo Dlamini, Wits’ SRC president, has responded to the statement issued by Wits Vice Chancellor (VC) Professor Adam Habib in which Habib’s condemned Dlamini’s recent ‘Adolf Hitler’ comments on a Facebook post. Habib has also referred “Mcebo Dlamini for investigation to see whether disciplinary charges should be brought against him in this regard”.
The unedited version of the statement is reproduced below:
“Wits University is an anti-black space, built on the sweat and back of black mine-workers who are now long forgotten. The University remembers David Webster, Oliver Schreiner, Barney Barnato and hardly remembers Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, Benedict Wallet Vilakazi, Nelson Mandela, Essop Pahad and many others, alive and others dead.
Wits University privileges white bodies, white thought, white culture and white feelings. In fact, Vice-Chancellor Adam Habib went out of his way campaigning that the university residents are not diverse enough without white students who mostly willingly left residents when more and more black students were allowed into the university.
Professor Habib sent me an email informing me about a formal complaint from “a student and an alumnus about your posting,” and the “charge is of course racism.” He asked that I provide a context of this posting and how I respond to the charge that the posting is racist. I wonder why the Vice-Chancellor asks me to provide context when he has already made a public apology to all white people who are offended by a post I made on my personal Facebook account and subsequently conducted media interviews and expressed his condemnation on my remarks.
Racism is the violent process of black people’s subjugation which requires institutional power to continue the subjugation, something black people in general never had even in the democratic dispensation which gave all whites executive clemency for the mass murder of black people before they even went to court. It’s utterly shocking that given the history of this country that we have not come up with a theoretically coherent view and definition of racism. Racism is not defined to avoid offending white people, so anyone can be a victim, perpetrators become victims and victims become perpetrators.
How could black people be racist? Even after years of racist violence, they met in Kliptown and declared South Africa belongs to all, black and white.
Aldolf Hitler like all whites is no friend to black people but I fail to separate him as a freak of nature from the rest of white people. White people came to Africa to enslave black people, an underestimation of 2.5 million died on their way to America. Not a single person has taken responsibility for this genocide. Black people were violently dispossessed by whites of their land, humanity and dignity through capitalist colonial, exploitation, apartheid and structural racism. No one has taken responsibility for this genocide committed by whites.
History teaches us, that our collective experience as black people with whites have always dehumanized us, robbed us of our dignity, reduced us into permanent visitors in our own land, turned us into migrant labour, perpetual beggars and living copse.
Interestingly during the Rhodes Must Fall campaign and the subsequent defacing of other colonial statures, the public discourse did not highlight the atrocities committed against black people by these white colonialists. The black people that found the statures offensive and the ideas of white superiority they represented were labeled as senseless barbaric criminals who should be arrested. The justification was that despite the white supremacist ideas which these individuals held and the violent land grabs they committed, its heritage and should be preserved. In fact, a handful of whites chained themselves onto the statures prepared to die or harm anyone who dares touch their “history.”
I wonder why Professor Habib did not send a public apology to us black people when a fourth year law student Sinethemba Memela was told by a white student “I will fuckin’ kill you, you black bitch!” when she confronted the student about mocking the accent of a black lecturer? Is it because it was a black student who was racially abused? I wonder why he has not written a public apology to our outrage at the fact that at least 30 black workers outsourced to MJL electrical, a white company by the university have not been paid in months or that they’re not allowed into the library if they want to read and not even allowed to use the public toilets they maintain?
I also wonder how whites in their collective conciseness justify their privilege generated out of the indignity, dehumanization and exploitation of black people. Do they think it’s a coincidence that wherever the white/black dynamic exists, the white is always at the top and black at the bottom or is it because they, all of them in their collective consciousness believe in their supposed superiority and hard work and that black people are simply lazy.
I fear that Wits University punishes black radical thought, anyone who dare offends its white established values or offend white Jews will be punished like the 11 heroic students who put their academic careers on the line and challenged university management for bringing its name and values into disrepute by hosting Israeli funded pianist Yossi Reshef.
– SRC president, Mcebo Dlamini.”
Thembelani ‘Jay Tip’ Gina won the beat-making challenge on Monday at the Back To The City music festival.
JAY TIP: Thembelani Gina won the Back To The City 10k challenge. Photo: Tseliso Monaheng
How does it feel to stand in front of a crowd of more than 20 000 people, with the grand prize in your hands? Jay Tip, a Nuclear Energy Master’s student and part-time lecturer at Tshwane University of Technology, laughs coyly, “well I was very happy. Especially ‘coz the crowd was full of hip-hop heads, meaning they appreciate what I do.”
Thembelani Gina, known to the hip-hop beat making world as Jay Tip, won the Back To The City 10k challenge on Monday, 27th April.
I imagine beat making to be a highly intricate exercise. Requiring patience, as one has to add layers upon layers of sound. All the best beat makers I’ve met have been quiet people. Almost shy. Jay Tip is no different.
“Music is my place of hiding,”
Making music for him is a healing process. “Music is my place of hiding,” he says. But his journey through music hasn’t been easy, or without its bumps along the way. There is a Xhosa saying that I grew up hearing, ‘uThixo akaphi ngasandla’, meaning ‘God doesn’t go out shoving blessings down people’s throats’. Sometimes you just have to get up and start doing things, then he’ll assist you. There is a part of me that wants to believe that- especially considering that Jay Tip entered the competition last year, but was disqualified on a technicality. However another part believes that he is just a talented producer. Finish and Klaar.
The 30-year-old began growing an interest in music in 2007. Moving from KwaZulu Natal to Cape Town to study at the University of Cape Town, he became part of the UCT hip-hop club – meeting and mixing with different rappers, musicians, and producers. The club would not only create and strengthen friendships, but build strong musical relationships that Jay Tip says gave him a voice within the small but growing Cape Town hip-hop scene.
There was a rigorous process to entering the competition. Participants needed to submit their beats and from that a shortlist of 20 nominees were selected. Those 20 nominees needed to campaign for votes online. The 8 nominees with the most votes then battled it out on-the-day at the festival.
The annual festival, which started in 2007 brings hip-hop lovers from across the country to Mary Fitzgerald square in Newtown, Johannesburg.
Jay Tip is still very grounded when speaking about his success.
“I still have to grow. I still wanna work on my music, and improve on some of the things the judges advised I improve on. I have contributed beats to a couple of albums, so watch out for that. But for now I’m gonna go with the flow.”