By BO Staff Writer
Students in various institutions of higher learning around the country, including the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), University of the Free State (UFS) and the University of Cape Town (UCT), have been actively involved in the struggle for free decolonised education, the demilitarization of campuses and the dropping of charges of student leaders. While grappling with many internal contradictions, students in these universities have been clear in confronting and directing their anger at white power.
On the other hand, the student representative council at Wits, led by the Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command (EFFSC), has called for a possible shutdown of the institution to be “cancelled”. Speculation is high that the cancellation was ordered from Juta Street (EFF headquarters) by EFF leader, Julius Malema.
Malema, who is a known agent of white monopoly capital, was allegedly told by his white handlers to make sure that there are no disruptions at the university. Universities are sites of commerce and capital, so white capital has its tentacles securely hooked in the running of these institutions, hence they don’t want them to be shutdown. Since the EFF gave power to the white racist Democratic Alliance (DA), the political party has done all in its power to protect the status quo, including, this time, making sure that things carry on as normal at Wits.
In a statement that looks like it was written by Malema himself, given the tone and flip flopping nature of the language, the Wits EFFSC says, “students should continue studying in the libraries and computer labs in order to fully prepare for exams. Exams will continue as planned.”
The statement has come as a suprise to many who were present when the same Wits EFFSC called the ANC-aligned Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) (which was in power at the time), sell-outs for stopping a shutdown.
While other black students across the country are putting their bodies and mental well-being on the line for the correct demand of a decolonised education, the Wits EFFSC has done as its motherbody did after last year’s local government elections – given power to white monopoly capital on a silver platter.
Read the full Wits SRC statement below:
READ BELOW STATEMENT FROM THE SRC
On the issue of a shutdown, the SRC has met and had a cognizant discussion about a shutdown. After the mass meeting, the SRC received a plethora of complaints from many students from on-campus residences and off-campus residences who feel that a shutdown at this time of the academic year is not viable and puts pressure on their academics. Students residing in off-campus have expressed the extension to the university calendar as their prime concern. Students argue that unlike those in Res life, they would incur additional charges from private accommodation providers. As an SRC that has held a view that we will be mandated by students, we have reached a conclusion that the number of students present at the mass meeting did not represent the holistic demographics of the university.
In the mass meeting, students raised numerous issues, like whether we are in solidarity with the UCT shutdown, issues on the safety of students in Braamfontein since we are already in exams or whether we are having a protest. These issues we will look into them as we have promised to the general student populace of Wits University. However, students must always know that we are the only highest structure in representing students and they have entrusted us with their votes, so we will never disappoint them.
The SRC remains aware of certain individuals within and external to the university that have been encouraging a shutdown for their own interests. We will always be clear on our stance that we want FREE QUALITY DECOLONIZED EDUCATION, but if we will shutdown campus with exams commencing, then we are not looking out for one another. We won¿t be careless and excited by instigators who want a shutdown for their own motives and not for the genuine cause of FREE EDUCATION. When we do pronounce a program of action, we will be taking it to its logical conclusion.
The decision is final. Students should continue studying in the libraries and computer labs in order to fully prepare for exams. Exams will continue as planned.
Good luck to all students, and may you always conquer the edge!
On behalf of Wits SRC 2017/18
Warren Makoga Secretary General
Sandla Mtotywa Spokesperson