Wits students: ‘We will hold this university to ransom’

2015-10-16 14:52
Former student council president Mcebo Dlamini Mcebo Dlamini and vice chancellor Professor Adam Habib. Picture: @DesKabo/Twitter

Former student council president Mcebo Dlamini Mcebo Dlamini and vice chancellor Professor Adam Habib. Picture: @DesKabo/Twitter

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On day three of protest action at Wits University, vice chancellor Professor Adam Habib arrived to address students but ended up being overshadowed by former student council president Mcebo Dlamini. 

Arriving just after 10 this morning – having left the higher education summit taking place in Durban – Habib stood at the Empire Road entrance of the institution as students watched. 

Students were chanting: “Fire Habib, voetsek Habib, we hate Habib.” 

Incoming student representative council president Nompendulo Mkatshwa said that they had been portrayed as violent but they were the ones that had been attacked. 

Habib communicated through Mkatshwa that he did not have the authority to reverse the fee increase because the decision had been made by the university’s council. 

Shortly after that, former student council president Mcebo Dlamini – who was removed from the position following controversial remarks about Hitler and a number of run-ins with the institution’s management – arrived at the scene to cheering students. 

“When we left home we were given a clear mandate, ‘come back with your degree’,” said Dlamini. 

“The reality is that black lives do not matter at this university. We are separated by class. There is no negotiation that will happen here; we don’t have money. That increase will not happen.” 

Dlamini went on to say that, under Habib’s leadership, Wits had implemented a number of racist policies. He added that Habib had the power to call an emergency exco meeting to reverse the decision to increase fees. 

“We will hold this university to ransom.” 

Students have now occupied the Senate House building, where they await a response from management.

Higher education has certainly been on the national agenda this week. For an analysis and more coverage on the push for regulation of university fees and free higher education for certain students, read City Press on Sunday. 

Read more on:    adam habib  |  mcebo dlamini  |  wits university  |  university fees  |  witsfeesmustfall

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