Wits students demand meeting with parents, vice-chancellor

Wits student leaders are adamant that they will continue the shutdown at the university.

A signboard at the Univeristy of the Witwatersrand main campus. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Student leaders at Wits University have called for a special assembly with parents and the institutions management tomorrow saying they want the university to remain shut next week.

Yesterday students refused to meet with the Dean of Students to discuss their list of demands, calling instead for vice-chancellor Adam Habib to meet with them in person.

The university announced this week that the IEC would oversee a poll in which students could vote on possibly returning to class on Monday.

One of the Wits student leaders Busisiwe Seabe says they want to set the record straight.

"We going to continue with the shutdown at Wits."

Seabe says the academic programme cannot resume while the situation remains as it is.

"We are calling for a student assembly with parents in the Great Hall where we are inviting management as well, for them to hear from the students directly that they don't want to go back to classes on Monday. They don't want to resume the academic program."

Wits University says it has received hundreds of emails calling for the academic activity to resume at the institution and says it's responding to those concerns.

LISTEN: #FeesMustFall - Never waste a good crisis

Protesting students have accused the university's management of portraying a false impression that they don't want to go back to class.

The students say they won't be part of the polls to decide if classes should resume on Monday.

They say academic activity cannot resume while they still face various challenges including tuition debt.

Student activist Mcebo Dlamini says: "He (Adam Habib) must call a student assembly. He is scared of a student assembly because a student assembly will say he must come on the ground."

Dlamini says there are important issues that are being overlooked in the #FeesMustFall protest.

"We want to graduate and leave but the truth is that we can't afford to graduate with the challenges we are facing."

Protesting students have accused Habib of avoiding them and addressing students via the media.