DASO Wits welcomes university's action against SRC members

Organisation condemns SRC's call for students to petition for the dropping of charges

DASO Wits Welcomes University Hearing into Protest Action by SRC Members

DASO Wits welcomes a university hearing into charges laid against SRC members for allegedly violating the university's code of conduct during recent protest action on campus. Should they be found guilty, those members of the SRC should be removed from the student body immediately. This is after they reportedly forced entry into and disrupted a public performance of Israeli pianist, Yossi Reshef, at Wits on 12 March 2013.

Last year the SRC adopted a motion to implement a cultural boycott on Israel. The university senate has not adopted the same motion and hence the university approved and hosted the performance by Yossi.

According to reports, on 12 March, the group of protesters, including executive members of the SRC, were barred from entering the venue of the performance. Security personal were present at the start of the performance; however, once they had departed, protesters forced entry into the venue and disrupted the event, making it impossible to continue.

The university has since bought charges against the involved protesters and the hearing is set to take place on Monday 13 April. While DASO supports the right of students to protest, we strongly condemn acts of vandalism, intimidation and actions which warrant criminal charges. We welcome this hearing and condemn the SRC's call for students to petition the University to drop the charges. The university's processes must be allowed to continue unhindered.

Those members of the SRC who were involved in this protest must be held accountable for their actions. As leaders of the student body they have a mandate to lead by example and uphold the laws and regulations of the university.

Statement issued by Luyolo Mphithi, DASO Wits Leader, May 9 2013

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