A fight broke out between Project W members and Wits EFF after the red berets disrupted the SRC Elections debate, making the organisers cancel the event.
The Wits SRC Elections candidates’ debate was cancelled Tuesday afternoon when Wits EFF took over the stage chanting “NO SRC.”
Members of Wits EFF were singing and dancing outside the Great Hall before the debate and as the crowds started filling the hall they marched inside and onto the stage.
Wits EFF Secretary, Mbe Mbhele said the party believes the university is not listening to the students. “We feel the SRC is just a body that is meant to legitimise the university…but it doesn’t necessarily change anything because the people campaign against the same things every year.”
Mbhele explained issues such as the bus service has been brought up in campaigns since 2005 and “students are still complaining 10 years later.”
They continued to disrupt proceedings of the debate as the candidates from each party silently looked on from their seats on stage.
Campus Control arrived and stood by, while the organisers were seen going backstage with Campus Control’s Head of Investigations, Michael Mahada.
Soon after all the campaign managers were called backstage for an emergency meeting. When the group came out deputy chief electoral officer, Thembi Dlamini told Wits Vuvuzela the debate was cancelled based on a “collective decision”.
A tussle broke out on stage between Project W members and those of Wits EFF. Dismissed former SRC president, Mcebo Dlamini was allegedly seen trying to intervene and break off the fight. As Project W tried to get Wits EFF of off the stage, some PYA members physically got involved in the fight against Project W.
Campus Control escorted students out of the hall and locked the doors.
“I am utterly disappointed by the commontion that was caused specifically by the EFF,” said DASO campaign manager, Simphiwe Mbonani.
Mbonani complained the EFF didn’t give the parties a chance to tell students why they should vote for them.
The debate was meant to give the 2015/2016 candidates the opportunity to campaign within their student parties.
*Updated from original.