Update from the Senior Executive Team (15:30)
- Wits University
Statement from SET to clarify the chain of events as they occurred today:
In the early hours of this morning, we learnt from the mediators that the protesting students did not agree to the draft pledge that was circulated yesterday. We further learnt that the students had shifted the goalposts and had a new set of demands. The new demands indicated that the protesting students wanted the University, and all other higher education institutions to remain closed until government gave everyone free education.
Following discussions with the representatives of various constituencies within the University, the Senior Executive Team made the decision to postpone the General Assembly until consensus on the pledge was reached. Further, there were many safety and security risks associated with today’s event. This decision was taken just before 08:30 this morning and staff and students were alerted to it. A media conference was held at 09:00. The students subsequently held their own press conferences and events throughout the day.
We are willing to engage and work with student leaders, mediators and organisations to break the current impasse.
The Senior Executive Team remains committed to completing the 2016 academic year. The Council of the University will meet this weekend and direction on a way forward for the remainder of the year will be provided on Sunday morning.