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Convocation on SRC President

- By Wits University

We as members of the Convocation Executive Committee, stand in vehement opposition to the recent statements made by the Wits University President of the SRC, Mcebo Dlamini.

The SRC president’s social media and eNCA comments regarding his admiration of Adolf Hitler and subsequent racist comments are the reprehensible, opportunistic and ill-informed views of one individual.They are an example of abject failure in leadership, and by no means, whatsoever, are a view that could conceivably be supported by the University or constituents thereof. The University Convocation Exco is in unequivocal support of the statement issued by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Adam Habib, who has called for further investigation, pending disciplinary charges against Dlamini.

Mcebo Dlamini’s utterances are of a leader who has isolated himself from the broad aspirations of his constituency. Wits is home to all religions, cultures and an intellectual space for various political orientations to thrive. For a student leader to define his broader community, his colleagues, classmates and lecturers inherently racist and liken them to Hitler, simply on the basis of their skin colour, is abhorrent and goes against all efforts for social cohesion - on and off campus.

Our University has always been, and will always remain, an institution in which freedom of speech is nourished and nurtured; but it is also an institution that will take to task those that bring the University’s fundamental values into disrepute.

The President of the Wits SRC leads ALL Wits students and not only those belonging to his political party, therefore Mcebo Dlamini’s utterances are not consistent with his leadership position and contradict what Wits stands for as an institution.

The Convocation Executive will issue a statement pursuant to further development of this incident.

We wish to reiterate our revulsion in this regard.

Statement issued by Prof. Mamokgethi Phakeng, President of the Wits Convocation, on behalf of the Executive Committee of Convocation. Comments should be sent to convocation@wits.ac.za

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