Wits staff call for police to be removed from campus
A group of about 100 University of Witwatersrand academics and staff who were protesting outside the Great Hall have accused the institution’s management of imposing police onto students.
“The minute police come on campus‚ they don’t ask questions‚ they just spray water and start shooting. When students retaliate from those rubber bullets‚ they are labeled as being violent‚” said Wits staff member Tumisho Madihlaba on Tuesday.
He was speaking outside the hall after reading out a memorandum of demands to the group.
Their key demands are that police must vacate the premises as well as implement transformation within the institution. They also demand a decent salary package.
“So as black academics and black support staff‚ we said let’s come together and stand up for this because we know that this is affecting us directly.
“We are affected as transformation is a big deal here at Wits. This university is anti-black‚ counter revolutionary. This university is not willing to subscribe to the national agenda of transformation‚” he said.
Madihlaba said they were not willing to resume their services to the university until the calls for the demilitarization of the university‚ the removal of private security‚ an end to the victimization of students as well as the realization of free quality decolonized education were met.
Another worker weighed in said their intervention was much needed in support of the students.
“I must agree with my colleague that we needed to intervene because we are affected as black parents. As it stands‚ the university is pro-white and we feel that the fight by our students is something we really need to be part of‚” said Thandi Buso.
The group have vowed to mobilize more members to stand in solidarity with Wits student leader Mcebo Dlamini who is to appear in court for a third day on Wednesday on various chargers‚ after being arrested over the weekend.
— TMG Digital