Wits needs a real agent of change

The letter, "He will not transform Wits" (March 18), hit the nail on the head.

The letter, "He will not transform Wits" (March 18), hit the nail on the head.

Indeed, Wits University council chairman Edwin Cameron is a man of uncontestable distinction and a force to be reckoned with.

However, this does not imply that he is an indispensable member of the council who cannot be replaced if such a need arises.

Saki Macozoma cannot replace a person of Cameron's calibre. He's not anywhere near the person needed by Wits University community to jump-start the tradition of activism that was once the hallmark of education struggles.

To be at helm of Wits does not require an average Joe with political connections but a social activist with credentials to build consensus and advocate policies that will spur a programme of transformation for the benefit of all.

It will be disastrous to pick people by virtue of their being black or simply because they enjoy political patronage. This is not the way to deal with issues of transformation.

The transformation of historically white institutions remains a mammoth task that requires progressive agents of change to drive a process biased towards improving the access of poor South Africans in an effort to realise free and compulsory education.

Morgan Phaahla, Ekurhuleni