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Statement from Wits University - 16:00

- Wits University

Update from the Senior Executive Team on the situation on campus on Tuesday:

It has been an incredibly disappointing day for the University today. You may have seen dramatic footage of the video clips, tweets and images of rocks been thrown outside the Great Hall, of students breaking doors and windows to gain access to buildings and others being intimidated and threatened with weapons.

Some staff members and four students sustained injuries today.

This is not what Wits represents and goes against everything that we hold dear as a University – the ability to respect the rights of others, to treat each other with humanity and the ability to use our intellectual skills to convince others of our perspective. It breaks down the trust between peers, students, staff and others and creates an environment that is unsuitable for teaching, learning and engagement.

Wits is home to 36 300 students and over 5 000 staff members, the majority of whom want to learn and work. The rights of our staff and students were violated today, and there was significant damage to property, despite the additional security that we deployed and the presence of the police on our campuses. We view these matters in a serious light and we are working to identify the perpetrators so that they can be dealt with in line with the rules of the University and the laws of our country. Anyone with information and footage should share it with Campus Control.

We have reached out to the student leadership in an attempt to resolve matters this evening. We will keep you abreast of developments in this regard and a way forward later today.