Wits Students threaten to sue government

By Drum Digital
07 October 2016

Wits University students want the university to take the government to court if it fails to heed their demand for free education.

They set clear their demands to university management in a meeting that ended at 2am on the morning of Friday 7 October.

The demands were relayed to students, staff and parents during a meeting that took place on Friday afternoon at the Library Lawns at the university.

It was meant to be the universities general meeting called by Vice-chancellor Adam Habib, however, he did not turn up for the meeting, which left a sour taste in the mouths of student leaders.

“This shows Habib’s attitude towards our struggle, that they are not serious and the media will no longer accuse us of not wanting to engage with our leaders,” said Busisiwe Seabe.

The meeting was well attended and impassioned songs about the struggle for freedom could be heard across campus.

At the forefront of the meeting were student leaders, Mcebo Dlamini, Vuyani Pambo and several other student representatives. Bishop Ziphozihle Siwa and Advocate Dali Mpofu were present to support the students.

Deliwe Mzobe, who is a parent and worked as a cleaner at the university said she supported the movement because of the poor working conditions of domestic staff.

“For a long time we had to eat our lunch in hot and stuffy room that had a sewerage pipe running through it.  We were not allowed to go to the kitchen with fridges and microwaves,” she says.

“But after we complained Habib changed that, but he used that against us and he acted as if he had saved the world.”

Pambo said students who had participated in the protest had received great legal support, with none of them having to sleep inside a prison.

A general agreement was reached in the meeting that students would hold off exams and academic activities at the university until their demands are met.

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