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Joint circular from Wits and UJ

- Wits University

Statement from the Vice-Chancellors of Wits University (Professor Adam Habib) and the University of Johannesburg (Professor Ihron Rensburg):

The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and the University of Johannesburg (UJ) have learnt that some groups of students are planning to collectively protest on the campuses of both universities this week in order to evade disciplinary processes if protests turn violent or if there is resultant damage to person or property.

Both universities acknowledge that students have a Constitutional right to peaceful protest, and both universities respect these rights. However, these rights must be balanced with responsibility, and the rights of others to learn, teach and work.

Both universities categorically state that no form of violence or damage to property will be tolerated on any campus. The rules as stipulated in the Student Code of Conduct and other relevant documentation at Wits and UJ, do not stop at the boundaries of any campus, and are binding on all students, anywhere.

Wits and UJ will work together and will share information and evidence if necessary to bring any offenders to book. Transgressions will be dealt with by immediate suspension followed by an accelerated disciplinary process, and where found guilty of such transgressions, both universities will insist on immediate expulsions.

The universities will allow the full might of the law to take its course to offenders who are not students.

We are confident that the student leadership will manage members of their respective constituencies and to take the responsibility that is necessary to ensure that protests remain peaceful and without incident in the coming weeks.