Wits refuses to lift SRC election ban - EFF

Fighters say VC Adam Habib has declared himself their enemy, they will be taking matter to court


24 August 2015

The national leadership of the Economic Freedom Fighters met with the management of the Wits University to discuss issues relating to the upcoming Students’ Representative Council elections and the arbitrary decision by the University to ban the EFF at Wits University and from contesting the said elections.

The EFF leadership was led by the Deputy President Floyd Shivambu, National Chairperson Dali Mpofu, Secretary General Godrich Gardee, Acting National Spokesperson, EFF Students’ Command President and Deputy Secretary General and the leadership of the Wits University EFF Students’ Command.

The meeting dealt with the following demands of the EFF:

1. That the deregistration of EFF as an organization be withdrawn as there was no legal or constitutional basis for the decision

2. That the disqualification of EFF candidates be withdrawn and that they be allowed to participate in the election process

3. That the election process be postponed so as to allow the EFF branch to catch up with election preparation processes which they had been prejudiced against in the past few days

4. That the suspension of individual students be lifted on the basis of video evidence that proved no wrongdoing on their part.

After long discussions and cogent illustration to the Wits University management that their decisions were not sensible, the meeting arrived at the following conclusion: That the de-registration of the EFF as part of Wits University Clubs, Societies and Organisation is withdrawn, because there is completely nothing wrong that the EFF did.

The following decisions were made by the University unilaterally after requesting a separate caucus:

1. That the disqualification of EFF candidates from election processes be upheld.

2.  That the suspension of individual students be upheld.

The EFF appreciates and celebrates the fact that the nonsensical apartheid inspired decision to ban the EFF has been rescinded, yet strongly condemns and expresses utter disgust that the Vice Chancellor Adam Habib refuses to lift the disqualification of EFF SRC candidates and suspension of students.

What this means is that Adam Habib has without reason and against the advice of the University Council chairperson and prominent Academic and Administrative staff decided to go ahead with the repression and suspension of students without proper procedure.

Adam Habib has declared himself an enemy of the Economic Freedom Fighters, and an enemy of open and democratic participation of students in the University of the Witwatersrand. As a matter of fact, many academic staff members have written to Adam Habib to advise him to reserve the decision on the suspended students and disqualification of EFF SRC candidates.

The EFF has taken the decision to take the matter to the Court. We will file papers to interdict the election process, reinstate the EFF SRC elections candidates and lift the suspension of students. We call on all students of Wits University to unite against this cowardly and unprofessional Vice Chancellor, who takes uninformed, undemocratic and repressive decisions as it relates to students. We also call on the Wits University Council to censure Adam Habib because he is fast approaching his demise as a respected Academic, and will damage the open democratic values and traditions of the University.

Like in all cases that we have taken to Court, the EFF is confident that the application against Wits University will be a successful one, and Adam Habib will be educated that arbitrary decisions to ban and banish organisations and people are things of the past. The EFF will at all times fight against all forms of students’ victimization by temperamental and insecure University management.

Statement issued by the Economic Freedom Fighters, August 24 2015