Wits to discipline unruly students

2010-10-04 20:35

Johannesburg - Wits University will not drop disciplinary action against 28 students who allegedly disrupted lectures at the institution last year, despite appeals from the SRC to do so.

"The university stands firm that the judicial process should be allowed to take its course and has thus advised the affected students that under no circumstances will charges be dropped against them," spokesperson Shirona Patel said in a statement on Monday.

Students had a democratic right to protest peacefully on campus, provided their actions didn't affect the university's activities, or the rights of those who wanted to learn and teach.

Should any further disruptions occur, the university would not hesitate to take steps to ensure academic work continued as usual.

"Despite several engagements with the students in the past week, it is disappointing that the group refuses to accept the current disciplinary procedures," she said.

Last Wednesday the group of students blockaded the Senate House basement parking garage for about five hours.

The students' representative council vowed to intensify its protest in a bid to have disciplinary action against its members dropped.

Spokesperson Wandile Sishenge said this would include disrupting management or administrative work at the institution.

The student body had, however, taken a decision not to disturb other students during its protest.

Sishenge claimed the SRC had gained support from a number of youth organisations, including the ANC Youth League.

The parties were expected to meet on Tuesday to discuss what Wits management had decided and state its position.

ANCYL spokesperson Floyd Shivambu could not confirm if the organisation would meet the Wits SRC or not.