Members of the Economic Freedom Fighters visited Wits University yesterday to show their support for the suspended Wits EFF and students. The organisation is planning to take the university to court over the suspensions.
SUPPORT FOR THE SUSPENDED: Protestors made themselves heard yesterday in Senate House as they took a stand aginst the suspension of 7 Wits students last week. Photo: Tanisha Heiberg.
Members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have stepped in to assist members of the suspended Wits branch and in the process, have called for a “proper vice chancellor”, at Wits University. EFF deputy president, Floyd Shivambu, together with national chairperson, Advocate Dali Mpofu, visited the campus yesterday and declared that the suspension of seven Wits students, and their elimination from this year’s SRC (Student Representative Council) elections, will be challenged in court.
Speaking to EFF supporters in Senate House, Shivambu declared that Wits vice chancellor, Professor Adam Habib, will not last much longer. “ I can assure you he is not staying here for a very long time”, he said.
“This university must get a proper vice chancellor, which is going to protect the students and make sure that the interests of students are at the forefront and not about themselves only”, he said. “You can’t disqualify students on the basis of your own imagination.”
“He removes SRC presidents (referring to Mcebo Dlamini), he charges students as he wishes without a proper process, and we must never allow such to happen. That is why we say that Habib, and all who support him, must fall,” said the former Witsie.
Shivambu went on to say that EFF will be lodging an urgent court interdict this morning. Through this they hope to compel Habib to allow all students to stand for elections if they are candidates.
The protest was arranged and attended by members of Wits Men’s Res. Vuyani Pambo, president of the now suspended Wits EFF, and one of the students suspended was also in attendance.
Shivambu ended his address by saying, “We must continue to fight together and unite even from all political parties, unite and defend students”.
A group of student organisations marched against the management of Wits University following the removal of SRC president Mcebo Dlamini.
A group of student organisations marched on campus earlier today with a clear message to Wits Vice Chancellor Adam Habib and his management team.
Wits students and Progressive Youth Alliance members, carrying banners, sing their way to Senate House earlier today.
Photo: Reuven Blignault
“Run!” was the messaged delivered by provincial deputy secretary of the South African Students Congress (SASCO) Joy Phiri.
“No vice chancellor can tell us who our president is,” Phiri said. “Reinstate our President,” she said in reference to dismissed Student Representative Council (SRC) president, Mcebo Dlamini.
Dlamini later addressed the gathering and started by introducing himself as “Wits SRC president”.
He told the students that the problems the march was addressing were not about him.
“It has nothing to do with me as a person but everything this institution stands for,” Dlamini said.
“If I was a white president, I wouldn’t be charged today,” he added.
“It’s like the rules aren’t even applied across the board to everyone,” she said.
Nthabiseng Molefe, one of the students who helped to organise the event, the purpose of the march was to “challenge management”.
The challenges included the immediate review of Dlamini’s case, reinstatement to the position as Wits SRC President and a look at the situtation of the MJL Electrical workers.
MJL Electrical Workers
Speaking on behalf of the MJL Electrical workers, Richard Ndebele told the crowd that they wrote a letter to the vice chancellor expressing their feelings about how the University handled “their situation”.
Ndebele told Wits Vuvuzela that the response to this email was “contents noted.” MJL Electrical was a contractor of Wits University which made its employees “outsourced” workers. The workers have been unemployed since the University terminated its contract with the company.
“We are starving,” said Ndebele, during his address at the march. “These people cannot support their families.”
A 2nd year BCom Law student, Lebo (who did not want to give her surname), said, “a lot of students are frustrated with the way the University is dealing with certain situations”.
Handing over the memorandum to the Dean of Students Dr Pamela Dube, Molefe said Dube was not “allowed to speak” but she must “act”.