Wits vice–chancellor Prof Adam Habib has released a statement on behalf of the university, condemning the xenophobic attacks that have taken place across South Africa in recent weeks.

Dear Members of the Wits Community

Wits University strongly condemns all forms of xenophobia and the brutal acts of violence taking place throughout our country. These acts are unacceptable, inhumane and a clear violation of basic human rights.

Our deepest condolences go out to the victims of these outrageous, violent acts, some of whom have tragically lost their lives in recent days.

Wits further condemns the comments made by persons who occupy positions of power and who through their irresponsible remarks, have the ability to influence the actions of our citizens. This condemnation extends to the failure of government to hold these individuals accountable for their comments.

The blatant lack of leadership on this matter from the highest levels of government is also of serious concern. Now more than ever, clear messages need to be sent to all sectors of our society, without any ambiguity.

At Wits, we are fundamentally opposed to discrimination and will not tolerate any form of xenophobic behaviour on our campuses. Should any staff member, student or visitor experience acts of xenophobia or feel unsafe in any way on campus, we ask that you contact Campus Control on (011) 717-4444 or (011) 717-6666 at any time.

If you are beyond our campuses, you can report violent incidents or threats thereof via the UNHCR xenophobia hotline on 0825708779. The UNHCR then sends the message to the SAPS and their implementing partners on the ground for verification and response.

Thank you.