A group of student organisations marched against the management of Wits University following the removal of SRC president Mcebo Dlamini.

Wits students carrying banners and singing all the way to Senate House.  Photo: Reuven Blignault

Wits students and Progressive Youth Alliance members, carrying banners, sing their way to Senate House earlier today.
Photo: Reuven Blignault

A group of student organisations marched on campus earlier today with a clear message to Wits Vice Chancellor Adam Habib and his management team.

“Run!” was the messaged delivered by provincial deputy secretary of the South African Students Congress (SASCO) Joy Phiri.

“No vice chancellor can tell us who our president is,” Phiri said. “Reinstate our President,” she said in reference to dismissed Student Representative Council (SRC) president, Mcebo Dlamini.

Dlamini later addressed the gathering and started by introducing himself as “Wits SRC president”.

He told the students that the problems the march was addressing were not about him.

“It has nothing to do with me as a person but everything this institution stands for,” Dlamini said.

“If I was a white president, I wouldn’t be charged today,” he added.

“It’s like the rules aren’t even applied across the board to everyone,” she said.

Nthabiseng Molefe, one of the students who helped to organise the event, the purpose of the march was to “challenge management”.

The challenges included the immediate review of Dlamini’s case, reinstatement to the position as Wits SRC President and a look at the situtation of the MJL Electrical workers.

MJL Electrical Workers

Speaking on behalf of the MJL Electrical workers, Richard Ndebele told the crowd that they wrote a letter to the vice chancellor expressing their feelings about how the University handled “their situation”.

View photos of today’s march 

Ndebele told Wits Vuvuzela that the response to this email was “contents noted.” MJL Electrical was a contractor of Wits University which made its employees “outsourced” workers. The workers have been unemployed since the University terminated its contract with the company.

“We are starving,” said Ndebele, during his address at the march. “These people cannot support their families.”

A 2nd year BCom Law student, Lebo (who did not want to give her surname), said, “a lot of students are frustrated with the way the University is dealing with certain situations”.

Handing over the memorandum  to the Dean of Students Dr Pamela Dube, Molefe said Dube was not “allowed to speak” but she must “act”.