×

We've got news for you.

Register on SowetanLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

Wits SRC's 'ceasefire' on student protests — on condition

The student representative council said the protests are on pause for 24 hours on condition the university removes private security and lifts suspension of students.

Wits SRC member Karabo Matloga, deputy president Kamogelo Mabe and secretary general Tshiamo Chuma briefed the media on delaying student protests for 24 hours.
Wits SRC member Karabo Matloga, deputy president Kamogelo Mabe and secretary general Tshiamo Chuma briefed the media on delaying student protests for 24 hours.
Image: Rorisang Kgosana

Wits University’s student representative council (SRC) has announced a “ceasefire” regarding student protests for the next 24 hours on condition the institution removes private security and lifts the suspension of students.

The SRC addressed the media on Wednesday on their way forward after weeklong protests in Braamfontein.

The ceasefire is on condition the university removes private security, members of the SA Police Service (SAPS) on campus and lifts the suspension of six students, including SRC president Aphiwe Mnyamana.

Another demand is that the university stop further suspension of protesting students.

Once these demands are met, deputy president Kamogelo Mabe said the SRC would meet Wits management to negotiate.

Should the university fail to adhere to the new demands, Mabe said the students were willing to go back “to the ground”.

“If we feel the need to continue [protesting], the ground is always ready. As we have always said — students are not demoralised,” he said.

Wits students are demanding that the university provide accommodation to those who are homeless or cannot afford the residence fee, and that students with R150,000 historical debt should be allowed to register.

The students caused havoc in the Johannesburg CBD last week and marched to the house of vice-chancellor Zeblon Vilakazi on Sunday night, where a student threatened to “burn down” his house.

Mabe said the SRC does not condone such behaviour, but defended the student for “expressing how he feels”.

“Sometimes in a protest we allow for freedom of speech and it was a student who was expressing themselves. The student was exercising how they felt. As the SRC, we take the stance that we will remain as peaceful as possible so that our demands are dealt with.”

SRC secretary-general Tshiamo Chuma commended the university for making an about-turn on barring the media from campus.

Wits management said the media presence inflamed the protests.

“We engaged with the institution to allow freedom of expression and for society to see what we are going through. In regards to that, the media is back here so that the university does not put their own narrative,” she said.

TimesLIVE 


Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.