Court to hear urgent Wits application

Court to hear urgent Wits application

The High Court in Johannesburg is expected to hear an urgent application this morning over Wits University suspending seven students who are members of the EFF's student organisation.


"The EFF has taken the university to court on an urgent basis to seek withdrawal of the suspension of its EFF candidates from the Students Representative Council [SRC] electoral process and the suspension of individuals from academic activity," Economic Freedom Fighters acting national spokesperson Lehlohonolo Mokoena said in a statement.

The seven students were suspended after Vice Chancellor Adam Habib set up a probe into scuffles during an SRC election debate last Tuesday.

The university said it isolated 15 students after watching video footage of the debate between the EFFSC, the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYC) and student movement Project W.

Video footage of the debate shows students on stage stamping their feet and clapping during the debate, and a bout of pushing and shoving, before the debate was called off.

In a statement, the university said it immediately took action by identifying those involved. The vice chancellor and a committee met all of those involved.

SRC election going ahead

It said eight expressed remorse and would still face a disciplinary process. They can still go to lectures.

The other seven did not show remorse, according to the university, so have been suspended and had to leave the campus.

They will also go through a disciplinary hearing, which is expected to be concluded before the end of September.

Recognition of the EFFSC, which the university calls the EFF Society, was also withdrawn and it has to reapply for recognition. The election to the student body is on August 27 and August 28 and it will go ahead with increased security.

"After the vice chancellor had viewed the video footage of the incident and consulted the Electoral Officer and her colleagues, he concluded that there seemed to be reasonable grounds for believing that the disruption of the debate was orchestrated by members of the EFF Society at Wits.

"All election candidates had committed themselves to a code of conduct and any disruption of the debate therefore constitutes a breach of this code of conduct," said the university.

(File photo: Gallo Images)

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