Former Wits SRC member Jamie Mighti walked out of a Wits town hall earlier today after he found himself in a shouting match with VC Adam Habib.
A Wits town hall ended in tension earlier today after a shouting match between Vice Chancellor Prof Adam Habib and former SRC member Jamie Mighti, with the latter leaving the room when the argument reached a boiling point.
During the town hall, Mighti shouted his suggestion from the back of the room that Habib should order police to protect Wits students in Braamfontein, Habib shouted back that this was illegal for him to do.
Mighti insisted that the University of Johannesburg has such initiatives in place. Habib responded that it’s the responsibility of the municipality to do that.
The two parties then had a shouting match, with both accusing the other was ‘lying’.
Mighti said that Habib “Should stop lying to the students.” Mighti, who was wearing an Student Representative Council blazer, told all present that he is no longer a member of the SRC.
After the publicly heated argument, Mighti and several other students left the Senate Room. Habib continued with the meeting.
SRC president Shaeera Kalla told Wits Vuvuzela, “Town hall meetings for me are a space where things can really get unproductive, close to election time you find that parties come and want to have the loudest voice or the loudest bark.”
Kalla said she doesn’t appreciate students walking out like that, because they’ve come here to engage. “It’s a common tendency sometimes that when things don’t go your way to walk out, it’s a bit cowardly. But I do appreciate the input, and I think it’s fair to have input of that nature. The vice chancellor should be accountable and I really don’t think its professional of him to scream at students like that. There must be respectful engagement from both sides,” said Kalla.
On addressing the issue of Wits students safety outside of the university, Habib said he cannot control neighbourhoods surrounding student residences, such as Esselen residence in Hillbrow. “I don’t have the authority to look after Hilbrow,” he said. Habib added that he believed Esselen residence should be closed down.
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