CORRECTION: The article originally omitted the word “building” giving the impression that Umthombo is a student residence. Additionally, the term “racial statements” in the photo caption has been changed to “statements”.
“Black power, Biko lives” and “fuck white racism” were the words that greeted Witsies as they approached the Great Hall this morning.
The graffiti appeared overnight, sprayed in black paint, on the steps of Wits’ most iconic building.
Student residences Sunnyside, Mens Res and the Umthombo building were also targeted in separate but apparently related incidents. The graffiti appeared to favour the renaming of buildings on campus. Mens Res residents found their building sprayed with “Robert Sobukwe Hall” while students at Sunnyside res found their res had been “renamed” after Winnie Madikizela.
Susan Laname, a Sunnyside resident, claimed that the EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters) may be responsible for the tagging of the buildings as the renaming of campus buildings was part of their election campaign.
EFF chairman Vuyani Pambo confirmed members of his organisation were not involved in the spraying of the graffiti, saying he had only found out about it through social networks.
“We are not responsible for the tagging, we engage the university directly as we did about our campaign, he added.
“I, for one, think it’s telling, maybe the pressure the students are feeling, and this is one way in which they are finding expression,” said Pambo.
Wits Campus Control say they have no strong leads and little evidence as to the guilty parties.
“So far we have received the complaint and we have seen the graffiti and we are taking it very serious and we are doing own investigation,” said Lucky Khumela, Campus Control’s security and liaison manager .