The Wits 11, students disciplined by Wits University for the disruption of a concert last year, are maintaining their refusal to carry out their sentence.
The students were charged with, and found guilty of, misconduct after interrupting the Yossi Reshef concert (held at Wits) and ordered to do 80 hours of community service. But according to the vice-chancellor’s office, only one of the eleven is making arrangements to do so.
“We are not prepared to do business with Zionists who kill Palestinian women and children” said Tokelo Nhlapo, one of the students.
Nhlapo said the university used a policy from 1988 to charge them and believes the ruling was illegal and unconstitutional in the new South Africa.
He told Wits Vuvuzela that the 11 are pursuing every option available. “We are in contact with a constitutional judge who is willing to review our charge,” he said.
According to an email from the vice-chancellor’s office signed by Kanina Foss (acting communications manager), the Wits 11 risk not completing their degrees if the community service is not carried out. They “will not be deemed to have met the requirements of the University for completion of their degrees” if they do not comply with their sentence, read the email.
In response, Nhlapo told Wits Vuvuzela he does not believe that the university will succeed in sentencing them for a crime they did not commit. He said, “We believe what we did was in the interest of the University.”
He added that one of the 11, Aphelele Phindani, already graduated in March and therefore they “refuse to comply with every fibre in their bodies.”
- Wits Vuvuzela, Israel vs SRC, May 2013
- Wits Vuvuzela, Wits 11 cry foul play at hearing, July 2013
- Wits Vuvuzela, Wits 11 complain VC is “player and referee”, July 2013
- Wits Vuvuzela, Community service for Wits 11, January 17, 2014
- Wits Vuvuzela, Wits 11 defy “bogus” punishment, February 7, 2014