WITS mens’ residence Raiders came under serious criticism yesterday following accusations of sexual discrimination against women after a series of tweets were tweeted from their official Twitter account.
Wits Vuvuzela managed to screengrab some of the tweets which have now been deleted from their official account:
TWITTER OUTRAGE: A screenshot of the tweets sent out by mens res raiders yesterday.
Chairperson of the men’s res house committee Rodney Motjamela said that the committee are due to meet to discuss the issue, confirming that they know who sent out the tweets but will “issue a statement in due time.”
“There is a lot that I could say in my personal capacity but unfortunately when you are in leadership you don’t always have that luxury,” said Motjamela.
The residence whose visiting hours end at 23h00 on weekdays and 00h00 on weekends have been complaining. Saying that visiting girls are creating an environment that makes it difficult to focus and study.
“There is a lot that I could say in my personal capacity but unfortunately when you are in leadership you don’t always have that luxury,”
Student Representative Council (SRC) member Senzekahle Mbokazi however spoke out against the tweets saying “We feel that it was inappropriate to lodge complaints on such a platform firstly, and secondly the responses to individual students could have been handled in a more respectable manner”.
Additionally, Mbokazi advised that future matters of this capacity are taken first to the House itself in a house meeting before its internal matters are taken out in public.
Residence cluster manager of the mens res Doreen Musewa refuted the statement saying no official complaints have been lodged. “I have not received any complaints, we expect that the students to come to us if they have any issues”.
SILENT SCREAMS: Men’s Res Raiders have been criticized follwing tweets over sexual discrimination. Photo: Rafieka Williams
4th year LLB student Nkululeko Nkosi spoke out against the tweets describing them as “absolutely ridiculous” saying that they were “disrespectful.” Nkosi said “I found that type of behaviour extremely problematic and in how it painted out women in general and I don’t think that as a male res making those type of comments would be well received.”
Nkosi also mentioned that the platform was not used correctly suggesting that it “sends out a bad message that Wits encourages that sort of behaviour.”
Nkosi referred to a case of homophobia last year from the men’s res where a couple of students felt they were not welcomed into the res, “we make it clear that these sort of utterances on a public platform or private are not welcome in our space,” said Nkosi.
Mbokazi confirmed that the SRC are yet to engage with the leadership of the All Residence Council to discuss a way forward to prevent this happening in future. “We need student-unity because without a unified student body this university cannot progress in a student-centred manner where all, regardless of gender have access to education.”
The choice of Mcebo Dlamini for Student Representative Council (SRC) president was not contested within the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) , one of the organisation’s leaders said.
“There’s no one who contested presidency, Mcebo was elected unopposed,” Wits Young Communist League secretary David Manabile told Wits Vuvuzela. The Young Communist League is part of the PYA.
Last week, Wits Vuvuzela reported that there was disagreement within the PYA over who should be SRC president. According to one of the PYA leaders interviewed in the article, there was a struggle to decide between Dlamini, Amogelang Manganyi and Senzekahle Mbokazi for president. There was disagreement over their different levels of experience and ability to carry out their duties.
But Manabile rejected this claim and said only Dlamini was mentioned as a potential president at the PYA’s deployment committee meeting and the following branch general meeting (BGM).
“We adopted recommendations of the deployment committee as they were. The only name raised for presidency was Mcebo Dlamini,” said Manabile.
“Those faceless people you interviewed might have had a different view but rest assured in the meeting we had, no one raised any other name for presidency.”
Sharing the same view, incoming president Dlamini said PYA members who believed there was a contest for SRC president were “lying”.
“There wasn’t any contestation for presidency, the sources were lying. I do not know if they were in the same BGM that we were in,” Dlamini said.
Although presidency was uncontested, Manabile said that PYA members in the BGM, which is the organisation’s highest decision making body, had differences over who would be Dlamini’s deputy.
“We did have different views as to who must deputize him but at the end we reached consensus, we left the meeting united, believing in the leadership that the BGM has agreed upon,” said Manabile.
A deployment committee list seen by Wits Vuvuzela listed Dlamini as president and Manganyi as vice president. The house reshuffled Manganyi to deputy secretary general and Shaeera Kalla from secretary general to vice president. Mbokazi who was initially given CSO and Student governance, was moved to secretary general.
Dlamini said although the vice president and secretary general portfolios were contested, that should not be seen as though “we are fighting”.
“It’s not like we are fighting when we contest. Contestation is fine and is allowed. It’s wrong for people who were in the BGM to witness this contestation and say that there is bad blood,” said Dlamini.