Doubts of fairness over LSC election

The Law Student’s Council (LSC) candidates spent the past week making sweet promises to fellow law students in a bid to be elected – but some candidates fear they have already been put at a disadvantage.

Nkululeko Nkosi, a member of the group of candidates known as Adhoc 10, said the group was worried about the fairness of the elections.

Nkosi accused a member of their opposing group, The Bar, of conducting their campaign unethically, by starting campaigning earlier than the official date.

[pullquote align=”right”]”We are further disappointed at the involvement of the incumbent LSC in the matter,” [/pullquote]

They are biased

“We are further disappointed at the involvement of the incumbent LSC in the matter,” said Nkosi. “We believe that the LSC has shown bias towards the said group.” Nkosi also accused SRC member Jamie Mighti of using SRC resources like printing and its boardroom for meetings to further The Bar’s “agenda”.

He said their access to SRC resources also explained how they were able to afford their print-outs. Nkosi said he was worried that members of a body charged with overseeing the elections were affiliating themselves with certain groups.

Incumbent LSC chairperson Monchadi Kekana said there was no cause for concern: “We are impartial at all times and we don’t have any influence over the election results.”

Everything is fine

Kekana said the matter had been investigated and the Electoral Committee had decided members of The Bar could still run in the elections.  She said she had consulted the LSC and SRC constitutions and finally the Electoral Committee.  She had made recommendations to the Electoral Committee, which had made the final ruling.

He is a hypocrite

Nkosi, on the other hand, insisted that “the integrity of the SRC had already been compromised” by Mighti’s actions. Mighti denied any association with The Bar and said he had been cleared of any wrong doing: “It is very ironic that a known member of the PYA himself backed by former and current SRC members publicly and privately is pointing a finger.”

[pullquote align=”right”]”We are impartial at all times and we don’t have any influence over the election results.”[/pullquote]

The elections took place on Thursday and the results will be released today on noticeboards around campus.

This year the election were highly competitive with over 50 students running as candidates.

The votes will be counted by the Electoral Committee in the presence of a member of the Student Development and Leadership Unit.

Girton Hall star struck

HOTEL LIVING: Girton Hall residents are enjoying “state of the art “facilities.                   Photo: Roxanne Joseph

HOTEL LIVING: Girton Hall residents are enjoying “state of the art “facilities. Photo: Roxanne Joseph

By Emelia Motsai and Roxanne Joseph

Wits ladies residence, Girton Hall, is a mere star away from achieving three star status according to the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa.

Girton Hall was recently awarded two stars in the backpackers and hostelling category. Director of housing and residence life Rob Sharman said the university wanted to get accredited because they used residences during vacations for conference accommodation and “needed to assure potential users that our facilities will meet their expectations”.

“University residences have to operate in the most cost-effective manner possible, and it is a requirement of the Department of Higher Education & Training that they are financially fully self-sufficient. Hence our decision to seek the assistance of the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa,” said Sharman.

[pullquote align=”right”]“The bathrooms are never dirty and gross and if your bin gets full, you just put it outside your room and someone empties it.” [/pullquote]

Wits had performed very well in the review of student residences in 2010/11, Sharman said, but “I felt that we should also seek benchmarks that are not solely based on student residences at other universities.”

Girton Hall was evaluated on the condition of the premises, and essential services offered.

Shruti Brijkumar, a student who stays at the res, agreed that the residence was worthy of the stars it had received: “It’s really clean. They clean your room once a week and wax the floors.”

Another student, Micaela Gradidge, said the posturepaedic mattresses were a favourite for her: “[they are] really comfortable.”

Gradidge said she also appreciated how clean their residence was: “The bathrooms are never dirty and gross and if your bin gets full, you just put it outside your room and someone empties it.” Gradidge said the food was also a lot better this year compared to last year. She had “stopped eating in res in the second semester, because the food was so bad.” Sharman said Girton Hall was a pilot in a project that will be rolled out to other residences. “By midyear we anticipate that Medhurst and Reith [residences] will also have been assessed.” He said Girton, Medhurst and Reith bathrooms were undergoing total renovation. They are also creating more tea/snack kitchens for the convenience of students.  Laundry facilities at the three residences would be upgraded this year.

According to Sharman the university’s residence capacity has been increased from 3 100 to 6 100 beds and the types of residences have “been extended to include state-of-the art facilities and accommodation in some of our newer reside

UPDATED: Project W “banned” from Wits

ProjectW

The Project W twitter account shared this image on Tuesday allegedly showing the intimidation of their members by the PYA. Photo: Twitter.

UPDATE: The Wits branch of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), has accused the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) of political intolerance after the PYA attempted to remove EFF from the clubs and society tent earlier on today.

Campus control officers were called, apparently by SRC clubs and society portfolio holder, Sarah Mokwebo, to remove EFF members from the table which they were occupying in the tent.

“They said we are not registered. We are not a club and society,” said EFF Wits chairperson Vuyani Pambo. Pambo admitted that EFF was not a registered club but said they would not move just because an “ANC-led SRC does not want EFF.” Even though they refused to move, Pambo said they did willingly give Campus Control their details.

*Details to follow in Friday’s newspaper. 

ORIGINAL STORY: A squabble broke out during O-week on Tuesday after Project W was  “banned” and told it could no longer operate as a club or society at Wits.

The altercation took place in the O-week Clubs and Society tent when Project W set up a table there.

Project W SRC member Jamie Mighti told Wits Vuvuzela Project W was banned last year for “having a constitution that is not in line with the SRC’s constitution”.

Mighti, said Project W had appealed the ban and decided to set up their table at the Clubs and Societies tent because “we were banned illegally.”

He said the squabble began when SRC clubs and society portfolio holder and Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) member Sarah Mokwebo came over to their table and told them to leave. Mighti said other PYA “comrades” came and started forcibly moving them.

Ethan Genende Donates a can of beans in the Project W donation Bin outside the matrix.

Project W who form part of the SRC this year has been disbanded.

“[It] is not their job to do, that is the job of campus control,” complained Mighti.

He said he has laid assault charges against Mokwebo with Campus Control.

Mighti said the decision to ban Project W was not taken by the SRC as a whole but was made by SRC president and PYA member Shafee Verachia and Mokwebo.

Mokwebo rejected Mighti’s claim that Project W had been “banned”.

“It never existed,” Mokwebo said.

Mokwebo refused to comment further. Verachia could not be reached for comment.

Last year, the PYA won a narrow majority during the SRC elections. Eight PYA member and seven Project W members were elected to make up the 2013/14 SRC. One Project W SRC member, Kay Mlaba, has since left Wits and her position on the SRC.  There will be no replacement for Mlaba. She held the international relations portfolio which will now be taken over by another member of the SRC.

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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.

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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”.

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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

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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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