Following a physical altercation which broke out at the Student Representative Council (SRC) debate in the Wits Great Hall earlier today, Wits University has released a statement outlining what actions will be taken against anyone involved in the disruption. The university urges acts of intimidation to be reported to Campus Control and the Dean of Students.
The full statement, issued by Shirona Patel, Head of Communications, is reproduced below:
“Wits University is currently in the midst of its Students’ Representative Council (SRC) elections for 2015/16. An election debate was today disrupted as a result of the conduct of parties and/or individuals and the meeting had to be called off.
Subsequently, the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Adam Habib held another meeting with all the election candidates and notified them of the following:
1. The election process will continue but should any party and/or individuals violate the electoral process, the Vice-Chancellor will exercise his right to suspend that party and/or individuals from the elections.
2. All video footage of today’s incident is being reviewed and should individuals be identified as having engaged in violent physical altercations, they will be investigated with a view towards implementing disciplinary procedures.
3. If there is reason to believe that individuals constitute a threat to the safety of others, the Vice-Chancellor will exercise his discretion and rights to consider an immediate suspension of that person or persons from the University.
Wits University will not allow any individual or party to compromise the safety and security of our staff and students and we will act swiftly, within the University’s processes and rules, to end any illegal behaviour.
Any incidents of intimidation should be reported directly to the Dean of Students via Pamela.Dube@wits.ac.za as well as to Campus Control on (011) 717-6666.
We assure our staff, students, parents and guardians that the safety of our students and staff is paramount.”