Mandela memorial: We were not dishonouring him, we were honouring him

HONOUR HIM WITH A SONG: Young people refused to stop singing at Nelson Mandela's memorial service because they wanted to honour Mandela.

HONOUR HIM WITH A SONG: Young people refused to stop singing at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service because they wanted to honour Mandela.

Singing throughout the entire Nelson Mandela memorial service, even during the speeches of prominent guest speakers, was a way of of showing respect to and honouring Mandela.

“We wanted to express ourselves in a respectful way. That’s how it is here in South Africa,”  said Siyabulela Phila who was one of the lead singers. Phila said that Mandela was a comrade and whenever it was a comrade’s memorial service, “something like this happened”.

Dorah Nhlapo who was also among the singers said, “Mandela comes from mzabalazo [the struggle]. It was our way of showing him respect.”

Nhlapo said their singing was not an indication of their dissatisfaction with anyone, “as long as it is Nelson Mandela’s memorial, we will keep our dissatisfaction to ourselves.”

Pila said what they didn’t like was “the other heads of states were talking Chinese and we could not hear them. The sound was very poor. We could hear the president talking but we could not hear the translator.”

Stephanie Nunes who was at the memorial said the singing did not bother her, “I’m used to it. It’s my country.”

According to Phila, whenever the sound quality was bad or and “the thing of not always showing who is talking” they sang even more. He said they were unable to hear most of the speakers properly, so they sang: “We only heard Barack Obama, of which it was a great speech.”

Cyril Ramaphosa attempted to get the enthusiastic singers to quieter down but had very little success. There were even media reports  saying policemen had been called to bring order to the situation. In the end it was Desmond Tutu who managed to get the relentless singers to keep quiet: “I want to remind you that we got to be at this point because we were disciplined. Now I want to show the world, which has come out here to celebrate the life of an extraordinary icon, we want to say thank you to that world but you must show that world that we are disciplined. So I want to hear a pin drop.”

Power reporting pilgrimage

WHEN most people were sleeping in their warm comfortable beds at 2.30am on Monday morning, 23 students from the University of Limpopo (UL) were getting on a bus headed to Johannesburg. It was cold and rainy but that did not dampen their mood.

They were headed to the Power Reporting conference to be “baptised in journalism,” as their lecturer Thabiso Muswede put it. Muswede said the UL media department brought their entire Honours class, two Masters students and eight staff members to the conference.

“We want them to engage with media people from all over the world,” said Muswede.  This was the third time UL attended the conference but for the first two years they could only bring two or three students. Muswede said the change in attitude and behaviour in those students had been notable: “They’ve developed confidence and they are inspired.”

[pullquote]They were headed to the Power Reporting conference to be “baptised in journalism”[/pullquote]Muswede said he hoped that “rubbing shoulders” with respected international and local journalists would help students to “marry theory with practice”, make them more employable and build their confidence. “So when they graduate they are not scared to plunge themselves in any pool and engage in international debates,” he said.

The Limpopo team only received two bursaries from Power Reporting, with everyone else being sponsored by the university “because they value our progress”, said Muswede. UL honours student Khotso Mabokela said she was “overwhelmed” with excitement. Mabokela said she wanted to come last year but she was unable to. Getting the opportunity to attend Power Reporting this year was a big deal.

While Mabokela was tired from the trip and from exams at UL, she was still excited about the conference, especially with investigative journalist Mzilakazi wa Afrika.  “I want to know how he won his cases and how he investigates,” she said.
Mabokela wants to follow in wa Afrika’s footsteps and become an investigative journalist.  Muswede said Wits was “leading in teaching journalism in Africa” and wanted to expose their UL students to the programme.

Project W cries foul over portfolios

Bayas’jwayela: Project W’s Jamie Mighti listens on as Progressive Youth Alliance’s  (PYA) Tebogo Thothela explains why some SRC portfolios were merged and new ones created.                                                      Photo: Ray Mahlaka

Bayas’jwayela: Project W’s Jamie Mighti listens on as Progressive Youth Alliance’s (PYA) Tebogo Thothela explains why some SRC portfolios were merged and new ones created. Photo: Ray Mahlaka

 By Emelia Motsai and Ray Mahlaka

PROJECT W has accused the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) of shutting it down in a “conniving manner” after Monday’s constitutional meeting that allocated portfolios.

PYA’s Shafee Verachia (@ShafMysta)was elected uncontested as the new SRC president and four other PYA members were voted into executive team portfolios.

Project W did not make it onto the executive team despite winning seven of 15 directly elected seats on the SRC.

The PYA won eight seats but has an additional four seats on the SRC which were elected indirectly.

 Consulting SRC portfolio

Project W’s Jamie Mighti (@thenextbarack)said they came to the PYA “with open arms but we were shut down in a systemic, ruthless and conniving manner. Bayas’jwayela [they are disrespecting us]”.

Project W ‘s Jabulile Mabuza (@ceejaymabuza) said it was “clear that they don’t want to work with us”. She said they had been sidelined and called it an “insult to democracy”.

“You are saying people can do whatever they want as long as you have one more vote,” Mabuza said.

Comrades discuss politics via Whatsapp

Wits Vuvuzela was given a copy of a Whatsapp group conversation between some Project W members and the PYA deployment committee made up of current and former SRC members. [pullquote align=”right”]“We would desire Mighti Jamie for the position of VP [vice president] and Jabulile Mabuza for deputy secretary-general,”[/pullquote]

In the conversation, Mighti was asked which portfolios Project W members wanted and who they wanted in those positions. Mighti said Project W wanted himself and Mabuza in executive positions.

“We would desire Mighti Jamie for the position of VP [vice president] and Jabulile Mabuza for deputy secretary-general,” he said.

Mighti said Project W wanted those positions because it would give them representation in meetings only available to members of the executive team.

“We would also be able to put our views to these decision-making bodies [senate, council and convocation].”
SRC president Sibulele Mgudlwa (@Sibulele_) asked Mighti: “May I ask: does it matter if [Project] W is not in exec? Will it affect their performance in SRC?”

Mighti responded: “I definitely think it will send the message that our say is not valuable to the decision-making process, we would like a voice at the very least in the university structures.”

Mighti warned that excluding Project W would “create an atmosphere of adversity, in that it is the PYA executive versus the Project W candidates, this may lead to more fractious relations over time.”

Divvying up SRC portfolios

Two new SRC portfolios were created and some were merged. Mighti said they were not consulted on this.

“They came to the meeting, merged all the positions that you think are powerful, not because they are trying to be benevolent but because they are trying to monopolise power,” Mighti told Wits Vuvuzela.

[pullquote]“They came to the meeting, merged all the positions that you think are powerful, not because they are trying to be benevolent but because they are trying to monopolise power”[/pullquote] He accused the PYA of merging positions because they ran out of candidates for the portfolios believed to be influential.

PYA deployment committee member Tebogo Thothela denied Project W’s allegations and said the new portfolios were created regularly.

Thothela said they had spoken to Project W members to ask them which portfolios they would want.

Verachia also defended the portfolio assignments: “A lot of thought went into the portfolios,” he said.

Verachia said Project W’s disappointment was because they may have been “ambitious of the portfolios they wanted”.

Working dynamics between Project W and PYA

Mabuza and Mighti were assigned to the two new portfolios, of campus liaison officer and day student liaison officer respectively. Both said they would do their best to serve students in those portfolios.

Verachia said unifying the team would not happen “over night” but he was ready for the job ahead: “It’s a huge responsibility and I am up for the challenge.”

Related articles

SRC to divvy up the spoils, September 13, 2013

SRC President announced: The winner takes it all, September 17, 2013

WITH GALLERY: SRC election results – PYA gets a wakeup call, August 30, 2013

SRC President announced: The winner takes it all

Project W's Jabulile Mabuza and Jarred Hart respond to the announcement of the 2013 SRC portfolio. Photo: Ray Mahlaka

Project W’s Jabulile Mabuza and Jarred Hart respond to the announcement of the 2013 SRC portfolio. Photo: Ray Mahlaka

By Ray Mahlaka and Emelia Motsai

Progressive Youth Alliance’s (PYA) Shafee Verachia was elected the new SRC president at the constitutional meeting that was held yesterday.

The meeting was held to determine which portfolios the newly elected SRC members will take up.

Outgoing SRC president Sibulele Mgudlwa said Verachia’s position was uncontested. The new SRC is made up of eight PYA members and seven Project W members who were voted for by Witsies last month.

Paul Ndeweni got the deputy president portfolio, Michlene Monya is the secretary general, Shoki Masha,  deputy secretary general and the treasurer is Sandile Ngwenya.

[pullquote]”It’s clear they do not want to work with us”[/pullquote]

The new SRC will no longer have two deputy presidents but will have a deputy secretary general. Some portfolios like clubs, societies and student governance were merged.

Academics and policy were also merged and so was projects, media and campaigns.

Two new portfolios were created,  day student liaison officer and campus liaison officer.  Having only PYA members in the executive team and merging of some portfolios left Project W SRC elects very upset.

Project W’s Jabulile Mabuza, who got a newly created portfolio  said she was disheartened by what had happened and PYA had merged positions to monopolise power.

“It’s clear they do not want to work with us,” said Mabuza with tears in her eyes.

Outgoing vice president external Joy Phiri said it was normal for the SRC to create new positions to meet the needs of students.

Jamie Mighti of Project W said he was “disgusted and shocked”. He said they were not consulted on the decision to create the new portfolios or who was going to take what portfolio. He described the portfolio’s his organisation received as “fluff positions”.

He added: “They [PYA] don’t want to negotiate. They have created a winner takes all situation.”

PYA member Tebogo Thothela, (SRC 2011/12),  said they had been in talks with Mighti about  the issue of portfolios and Mighti’s demands were two portfolios in the executive team for Project W. He said they (Project W)  said nothing about the other portfolios.

2013/14 SRC portfolios

  •  President- Shafee Verachia – PYA
  •  Deputy President  Paul Ndiweni – PYA
  •  Secretary general- Michlene Mongae – PYA
  •  Deputy Secretary general- Shoki Masha – PYA
  •  Treasurer- Sandile Ngwenya
  •  Projects, media and campaigns-  Nelson Maunatlala – PYA
  •  Clubs, societies and student governance – Sarah Mokwebo – PYA
  •  Academics and policies- Angeliki Vidalis – PYA
  •  Community and service development- Avigal Cutler – Project W
  •  Transformation officer- Jarred Hart- Project W
  •  Legal officer- Gerry Comninos – Project W
  •  Strategic planning- Ethan Genende – Project W
  •  International officer- Kay Mlaba – Project W
  •  Campus liaison officer- Jabulile Mabuza – Project W
  •  Day student liaison officer- Jamie Mighti- Project W

 

 

 

 

SRC to divvy up the spoils

WINNING: Progressive Youth Alliance member Shafee Verachia got the most votes in the SRC elections this year.    Photo: Mia Swart

WINNING: Progressive Youth Alliance member Shafee Verachia got the most votes in the SRC elections this year. Photo: Mia Swart

  By Emelia Motsai and Ray Mahlaka

Project W has been having unofficial “preliminary” meetings with the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) ahead of a meeting to talk about creating an “SRC that works”.

Project W’s Jamie Mighti (@thenextbarack) said a constitutional meeting on Monday would decide who gets what portfolio, so they could come up with a “winning team”.

Mighti said the PYA seemed sincere and interested in helping students, so he felt positive and confident about working together.

Of the 15 seats available on the SRC, the PYA got eight and Project W got seven seats.

Another four positions are indirectly elected and are held by the PYA.

During election campaigning there was often tension between the two organisations.

PYA and Project W SRC members have vowed to put their differences aside and put student issues first.

The top election vote-getter and PYA member Shafee Verachia (@ShafMysta) said they would work with Project W.

“We will have to put personal interests aside and work together. I have faith in working with Project W. We will work hard with Project W,” Verachia told Wits Vuvuzela.

He said he would be happy to serve in any portfolio  his organisation decided on.

Mighti also said he would be happy with any portfolio but “I would like to work in academics”.

After the constitutional meeting the new SRC members will shadow the current SRC until they take office in November.

Related articles

WITH GALLERY: SRC election results – PYA gets a wakeup call, August 30

VIDEO: Wits SRC election Results 2013, August  30

BDS distances itself from “shoot the Jew”

Muhammed Desai, coordinator of BDS, breaking his vow of silence and addressing the crowd at a protest against an Isreali musician at Wits.  Photo: Nokuthula Manyathi

Muhammed Desai, coordinator of BDS, breaking his vow of silence and addressing the crowd at a protest against an Israeli musician at Wits. Photo: Nokuthula Manyathi

Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) released a statement on Monday condemning the singing of a song with the lyrics “dubula ijuda” (shoot the Jew) at a protest it was a part of.

Some protesters adapted the South African “dubula iboer” to “dubula ijuda” at a protest against an Israeli Musician who was performing at the Wits Great Hall on August 28.

“Given our history of work against racism, including anti-Semitism, we unequivocally distance ourselves from the singing of this song and its sentiments,” said BDS in the statement . BDS condemned anti-Semitism and Zionism, “even if it were to come from within our ranks.”

Wits vice chancellor, Prof Adam Habib when approached by Wits Vuvuzela said singing the song was irresponsible but Wits is yet to make an official statement.

Coordinator of BDS , Muhammed Desai’s initial response to the song being sung was that many African people in South Africa when using the word “Jews” meant it in the same way they would have during the eighties. “Just like you would say kill the Boer at funeral during the eighties it wasn’t about killing white people, it was used as a way of identifying with the apartheid regime”.

Many found his response unsavory, even BDS supporters. The University of Cape Town’s Palestine Solidarity Forum said it was “dismayed by this reasoning and feels that this version of the song has unacceptable and explicit anti-Semitic elements”. Rhodes University Palestinian Solidarity (RUPSF) forum said Desai held “disturbing views”.

RUPSF said it could not “be complicit in the condoning of racism of whatever sort” and demanded that BDS South Africa offered an “unqualified apology and an unqualified rejection and statements made by Desai”. RUPSF also said it wanted Desai to resign from his position and those involved in making the decision to sing the song excluded from the campaign. RUPSF said that unless these demands were met it could no longer continue supporting BDS South Africa and “the broad campaign it is leading”.

Desai said the people he was reporting to had not asked him to resign so he was not going to. In the statement it released by BDS South Africa condemned the singing of the song but offered no “unqualified apology” and did not mention any plans to take action against those who sang the song.

The South African Jewish Board of Deputies however said it was following up on the incident and would be taking “appropriate action”.

RELATED ARTICLES:

 

WITH GALLERY: SRC election results – PYA gets a wakeup call

Article by Emelia Motsai and Ray Mahlaka. Gallery by Mfuneko Toyana

Project W has broken the Progressive Youth Alliance’s (PYA) winning streak by scooping seven of the 15 SRC seats.

The results of the 2013 SRC elections were announced today at the Wits Great Hall piazza.

Newcomers Project W got almost half the seats on the SRC. Last year PYA won 14 of the 15 seats, losing only one seat to an independent candidate.

In 2011 they won all the seats on the SRC. The percentage of students who voted in this year was 24%, a 3.5% increase from last year.

Election results paper with candidates and the number of votes recieved. Page 1

Election results paper with candidates and the number of votes recieved. Page 1

Election results paper with candidates and the number of votes recieved. Page 2

Election results paper with candidates and the number of votes recieved. Page 2

Reactions from organisations

While the PYA narrowly maintains its majority on the SRC, with only eight seats, their shock was evident.

“They got seven seats,” said current SRC external Joy Phiri (@Joy_Phiri) who is a PYA member right after the results were announced.

Project W’s Jamie Mighti (@thenextbarack) said the votes reflected what students wanted.

“The students have voted, we’ve introduced democracy and excitement around politics in the university,” said Mighti.

When his name was announced in eighth position Mighti walked across the Great Hall stairs to where PYA members were standing and mocked them. They booed him in response.

[pullquote]“The students have voted, we’ve introduced democracy and excitement around politics in the university”[/pullquote]

PYA’s Shafee Verachia (@ShafMysta) the incumbent SRC academic officer got most of the votes. He garnered 2967 votes, 3.6 % of the total votes. PYA supporters cheered loudly when this was announced.

“I’m quite happy, PYA will pride its self in serving students,” said Verachia.

None of the Democratic Alliance Student Organisation (Daso) candidates made it in to the top 15, the first of their candidates came in at number 31 with 945 votes.

“We gave up half way through,” said Daso’s Dikeledi Selowa (@DK_Selowa) who was visibly upset.

University registar Kirti Menon made the announcement of the results. Menon said the results were fair and free and she congratulated all the candidates, even those who did not make it.

Students react to results

Students who were interviewed by Wits Vuvuzela did not seem to have a problem with the results.

“Project W will sharpen the PYA. We should be celebrating, we have sound leaders. I’m happy with the SRC results said,” Mcebo Sisulu.

Another student said he would have liked to see a 100% PYA SRC but he was ok with the results: “it’s a wake-up call [for PYA], as long as there is representation on both sides.”

Verachia said he was happy that there was more diversity in the SRC: “We will work hard with Project W to serve students.”

Mighti also said a functional SRC was possible even if it was run by Project W and PYA members. “It won’t be broken, it will work,” he said. The New SRC will begin its term on November 1.

The Wits SRC 2013/2014

1. Shafee Verachia – PYA

2. Angeliki Vidalis – PYA

3. Nelson Maunatlala – PYA

4. Jabulile Mabuza – Project W

5. Jarred Hart – Project W

6. Kay Mlaba – Project W

7. Ethan Genende – Project W

8. Jamie Mighti – Project W

9. Michlene Mongae – PYA

10. Gerry Comninos – Project W

11. Paul Ndiweni – PYA

12. Avigal Cutler – Project W

13. Kabelo Ngwenya – PYA

14. Sarah Mokwebo – PYA

15. Shoki Masha – PYA

RELATED ARTICLES:

WITH VIDEO & AUDIO: Habib calls anti-semitic song ‘irresponsible’

by Nokuthula Manyathi and Emelia Motsai

Wits vice-chancellor Professor Adam Habib said that it was “outrageous” that some protestors chanted and sang “dubula i-Juda” (shoot the Jew), at a protest against an Israeli musician on campus this week.

“It is irresponsible when anyone propagates the murder of another on the basis of religion, race or ethnicity,” said Habib.

The protest in response to the concert of Daniel Zamir was held in the Wits University Great Hall but another group of protesters went to a corridor inside the Central Block building and protested from there. This is the same group that sang the song.

CLICK TO LISTEN:

 

The coordinator of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), Muhammed Desai, said many African people in South Africa when using the word “Jews” meant it in the same way they would have during the eighties. “Just like you would say kill the Boer at funeral during the eighties it wasn’t about killing white people, it was used as a way of identifying with the apartheid regime”.

CLICK TO LISTEN: 

 

Members of the Academic Staff Association of Wits University and the group Academic Freedom were present as independent observers at the protest. Kezia Lewins who was part of the observers said the protest had been relatively peaceful but a full report would be made available at a later stage. Members of the Legal Resources Centre were also there to provide legal advice to the protesters and to observe as well.

 RELATED ARTICLES: 

WITH GALLERY & AUDIO: BDS protests Daniel Zamir concert at Wits

by Emelia Motsai and Nokuthula Manyathi

Both concert organisers and protesters felt like winners after the Daniel Zamir concert that was held at Wits University last night.

Muhammed Desai, coordinator of Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) South Africa, said the protest had been effective because they were able to make those attending the concert “uncomfortable”.

“I am an alumnus of this university, they are the ones that are outsiders here, and we want them to feel like outsiders,” said Desai

[pullquote]“You have blood on your hands.You think you can use our university to cleanse your image.”[/pullquote]He said because the organisers had to send out an urgent message to those attending the concert to tell them how to get in, which entrances to use and which to avoid is also a sign of victory – “already it shows that they are tense and they are stressed because SA is becoming so difficult for pro-Israeli organisations to operate [in].”

But the organisers also felt that the night was a success. The concert was held as the university’s way of making up for the one that was disrupted in March. The president of the SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD), Zev Krengel said Wits had lived up to its promise. : “The team was great. I could not fault Wits in anyway.”

Krengel said the protesters were peaceful apart from the group that moved into the corridor and which he described as aggressive. At first the protesters were singing softly but as the night went on they sang and chanted loudly. The protesters confronted and provoked those who came for the concert.

“You have the blood of Palestine children on your jersey,” shouted a protester to a woman who was walking in to the concert area.

“ You have blood on your hands. You think you can use our university to cleanse your image,” said another protester.

Most of the people there to attend the concert passed by the protesters quickly pretending not to notice anything but not all of them. Some passed by the protesters holding up Israel scarves and flags.

 

“Fuck you!” said a concert attendee to a protester. “Wits University is my University, I have two degrees Wits,” said another person attending the concert replying to a protester who had shouted that they were not welcomed at Wits. Another one gave the protesters the middle finger. Some had to be subdued by those walking with them.

At some point the protesters threw papers at concert attendees as they arrived. They also sang, “dubula i-juda” (“shoot the Jew”), and chanted “there is no such thing as Israel” and “Israel apartheid” as the concert attendees were coming in.

 

Desai said many African people in South Africa when using the word “Jews” meant it in the same way they would have during the eighties. “Just like you would say kill the Boer at funeral during the eighties it wasn’t about killing white people, it was used as a way of identifying with the apartheid regime”.

He said there was no evidence of Jews being harmed because of anti-Semitic impulses, – “the whole idea anti-Semitism is blown out of proportion”.  He said if there were anti-Semitic sentiments they would flatly challenge it even if it came from within their protest.

[pullquote align=”right”]Bring together a Palestine musician and an Israeli one.[/pullquote]

He said there a peaceful process going on and South Africans had to encourage that.

Ari Kruger, who attended the concert said the the term “apartheid” freely used  just to evoke enthusiasm and sensitivity among South Africans: “Look at their supporters, the Cosatu guys, I’ve spoken to them on many occasions, they actually don’t have the facts, they are being told, ‘come to the function, apartheid, free Palestine, South Africa’s history is Palestinian reality’ which is actually not true.”

Krengel challenged the BDS and Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC) to have a joint concert with them, to “bring together a Palestine musician and an Israeli one.”

Dr Shireen Ally, a Wits lecturer who was part of a  group that represented Wits staff and students, said the university refused them the right to have a silent protest and move into the Great Hall foyer.

Ally said they would be seeking legal advice because the university had “infringed” on their rights to protest.

Deputy vice-chancellor, Prof Tawana Kupe said the university had given permission for a silent protest, just not permission to be in the foyer which the protesters had not asked for anyway.

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SAJBD: BDS is just desperate

The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) today denied that the concert that will be held at Wits is for Jews only.

President of SAJBD Zev Krengel said in a letter to Wits Vuvuzela that the claims, are a “desperate last-ditch tactic to discredit” the Daniel Zamir concert that will be held at Wits on August 28. Krengel did not deny the validity of the recordings but said they were a “response by an independent contractor engaged to sell tickets, who had simply misunderstood what the brief was.”

On Monday Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) released two recordings which they say is “proof of ethnic racism and profiling practiced” by some of the organisers of the concert.

A poster advertising the Daniel Zamir concert at Wits University. Image: www.jewishsa.co.za

A poster advertising the Daniel Zamir concert at Wits University. Image: www.jewishsa.co.za

The recordings involve two people whom BDS allege are the “organisers” of the concert, saying there were measures taken to make the concert a “Jewish only” one. According to the recordings the organisers also bought out all the tickets.  This is apparently to conduct background checks on those who tried to buy tickets.

“Those making these accusations are the self-same activists whose members were responsible for the disgraceful break-up of a piano recital by an Israeli musician on the same campus earlier this year,” said Krengel.

He was referring to the concert by an Israeli musician that was “disrupted” in March. Eleven Wits student who were part of the protest at that concert were later charged by Wits for “possible contravention of the university’s codes of conduct”.

[pullquote align=”right”]”Bullying tactics of those who do not scruple to undermine those freedoms in order to push their own radical political agendas.” [/pullquote]

A Wits PhD student, Serge Tshibangu, said the allegations made by BDS were false because he had ordered a ticket and had received confirmation of the order, even though he is “African”: I totally disagree that it is a racist concert.”

Tshibangu said he ordered his tickets on Monday.  He had to give his full names and identification number to buy the ticket but he understood it was so his ID number could be checked by Campus Control officers when he arrived at the concert.

Krengel said he “applauded Wits University for upholding the democratic values and freedoms that have made it so fine an academic institution and for its forthright rejection of the intimidatory, bullying tactics of those who do not scruple to undermine those freedoms in order to push their own radical political agendas.”

BDS has said it would protest outside the event.

GALLERY: Six easy steps to voting

The 2013 SRC elections started today. The voting process is an easy and convenient one so if you have not yet voted you still have two more days so go for it.

STEP ONE: Go to a voting station with your student card. There are voting stations on the different campuses so find one closest to you.

STEP TWO: An election “scrutineer” will take your card to mark on it that you have voted and to check if you are eligible to vote.

STEP THREE: Get your name checked off on the register.

STEP FOUR: Get your ballot. Make sure your ballot has been signed to verify its validity.

STEP FIVE: Go to the cubicle and mark 15 circles next to your favourite candidates’ numbers. Remember you can vote for less than 15 candidates but you cannot vote for more than 15.

STEP SIX: Drop your ballot into the ballot box. Remember not to fold your ballot. Then that’s it, you’ve voted. Well done.

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