The Wits SRC have raised R1, 7 million after Wits chancellor Dikgang Moseneke and ten of his friends donated R50 000 each at the “One million, One month” launch earlier today.
The “One million, One month” campaign was officially launched by the Wits Student Representatives Council (SRC) at the Great Hall today even though the campaign reached its initial target of R1-million last Friday. The SRC was joined by the campaign’s ambassadors whose contributions today saw the total amount rise to R1,7 million.
Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, one of the ambassadors, donated R50 000 and arranged for ten of his friends to match his contribution.
“I have phoned a number of my friends and I said to them I will make a commitment on my feet today … and at least 10 of them said they will match me”, Moseneke said.
“One of my friends was moved by young comrades thinking in a very revolutionary way. They have a deep grievance but they find a positive way to address it”, Moseneke added.
Wits vice-chancellor, Professor Adam Habib, said he hopes that the campaign raises one or two million more.
“I will not lie to you. We are hoping to make R2 or 3 million … I will not have enough money to fund all students,” Habib said.
Wits SRC president Mcebo Dlamini pointed out that he was no longer talking to the Department of Higher Education (DHE), about the problem but he refuses to see 2788 students go back home.
“Our wish is to take all 2788 students to class because that is the future of the nation. I can’t lose 2788 students, I cannot,” Dlamini said.
Advocate George Bizos, who was the first official ambassador of the campaign, shared a moving story of a young woman he knew who struggled financially and recalled his promise to “never let anyone in [his] generation go through the same thing”.
Mpendulo Nkosi, a first year civil engineering student from rural KZN spoke of his difficulties in securing accommodation and funding for his studies at Wits. He was later surprised by the announcement that he was to be fully funded by a donor, the Thusanani Foundation, a youth-led non- profit organisation.
Nkosi said, “I am really thankful, they have done great for me and my family.”
Another significant donation was that of R100 000 from the South African National Zakah Fund (SANZAF).
Amongst the ambassadors who joined Bizos and Moseneke on stage was poet Lebo Mashile, and singer, Thandiswa Mazwai, both of whom congratulated Wits and the student leadership for their positive reaction to the funding crisis.