UNIVERSITY OF THE WITWATERSRAND, JOHANNESBURG

Wits University SRC Press Statement on Boycott of Israel Resolution

STATEMENT FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF THE WITWATERSRAND

The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg would like to confirm that the views and opinions expressed by the Students’ Representative Council and other student groups do not represent the official views of the University, nor are they an accurate reflection of the views of the majority of students, staff and alumni.

One of the University’s greatest strengths is its diversity  of people, programmes and ideas. This lends to the robustness of an institution that provides a platform for often diverse and conflicting views to be aired and debated, in the spirit of tolerance, respect and freedom of expression and speech. This enriches us as members of the Wits community and allows us to appreciate our differences so that we can study, live and work together in our country and beyond our borders. This is one of the greatest qualities of excellent higher education institutions. 

We value the diverse views of all our staff, students and alumni regardless of their race, religion, gender, culture, language, ideology or otherwise, provided that they do not exceed the limitations explicated in our Constitution. 

Wits is one of the leading higher education institutions on the continent, all the more so because of its ability to celebrate its diversity. 


STATEMENT FROM THE ACTING VICE-CHANCELLOR AND PRINCIPAL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF THE WITWATERSRAND, JOHANNESBURG

 “In light of the recent statement issued by the Students’ Representative Council (SRC)of the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, calling for an academic and cultural boycott of Israel, the University would like to affirm that the views and opinions expressed by the SRC or any other student groups on campus do not represent the official views of the University, nor are they necessarily an accurate reflection of the views of the majority of its students, staff and alumni.

Wits University is a leading institution on the African continent renowned for encouraging dialogue and debate on often diverse and conflicting views confronting society. It provides a platform for different constituencies to express their views and opinions through considered debate and intellectual engagement in the spirit of tolerance, respect and openness.

We value the diverse views of all our staff, students and alumni regardless of their race, religion, gender, culture, language, ideology or otherwise, provided that they do not exceed the limitations explicated in our Constitution. 

The diversity of people, programmes and ideas at Wits lends to the richness and robustness of the institution. This is indeed one of the greatest qualities of excellent higher education institutions, and one which Wits cherishes.

Prof. Yunus Ballim
Acting Vice-Chancellor
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg


STATEMENT FROM THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF CONVOCATION

The Executive Committee of Convocation of the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg would like to distance itself from the views and opinions expressed by the Students’ Representative Council with regards to a 'Boycott of Israel'.

We, as convocation, value the diverse views of all our members (i.e. academic staff and alumni) regardless of their race, religion, gender, culture, language, ideology or otherwise, provided that they do not exceed the limitations explicated in our Constitution. In our view, the diversity of people, programmes and ideas is one the greatest strengths that makes studying at Wits an enriching experience.

Professor Mamokgethi Setati
President of Convocation
(on behalf of the Executive Committee of Convocation)


Sunday, September 02, 2012 2:15 PM
Subject: Wits University (South Africa) SRC Press Statement on Boycott of Israel Resolution

Wits University (South Africa) Student Representative Council Press Statement on Boycott of Israel Resolution (Adopted)

South Africa's University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) Student Representative Council (SRC) has passed a resolution that calls for the full cultural and academic boycott of Israeli institutions. The resolution was brought forth to the SRC by the Wits Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC) and was unanimously adopted.

The resolution states that the SRC will “not participate in any form of cultural or academic collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions and will not provide support to Israeli cultural or academic institutions”.

Furthermore, the resolution calls for an investigation into any associations that the University may have with any Israeli institutions including academic, financial and cultural relations. The SRC of Wits University has committed itself to “actively campaign and lobby for the University to divest from such relations to further support the boycott of Israel and justice in Palestine” upon the discovery of such existing Israeli relations.

The Wits SRC, as the executive representative of the student body at Wits University, will also begin to actively promote and continue to support the annual Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) initiative. IAW has developed into an international campaign held in more than 120 cities and campuses around the world.

In 2011, the University of Johannesburg cut its academic ties with the Israeli institution, Ben-Gurion University. This was a precedent-setting campaign that has since fueled more boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel actions in South Africa and around the world.

This is yet another progressive step in the Palestinian solidarity movement in South Africa led by the youth. South African youth were a driving force in ending apartheid in South Africa and have expressed and demonstrated their solidarity with the Palestinians who continue to face Israeli apartheid and occupation. The importance of the passage of this resolution should not be understated, as it is a landmark victory in the BDS movement and the struggle for Palestinian rights and freedom.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Wits University SRC President
Tebogo Thotela
Cell: +27 (0) 74 585 8022
Email: 475578@students.wits.ac.za

Wits University Palestine Solidarity Committee
Tasneem Essop
Cell: +27 (0) 71 502 8674
Email: rpatel@iburst.co.za


Wits Vuvuzela: Is the SRC misrepresenting us? 
(September 14)