FACT CHECK: Reports 77% of Wits students voted for campus to reopen incorrect

The poll was audited by auditing firm SizweNtsalubaGobodo.

FILE: A Wits University student says the burden of fees feels like a noose around her neck. Picture: Dineo Bendile/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The University of the Witwatersrand polled its students last Thursday following a two-week shutdown of the university due to protests for free higher education.

An SMS sent to the university's 37,000 students asked: "Should Wits open on Mon 3 October subject to appropriate security protocols being in place?"

The interim results showed that of the 21,730 students who responded to the poll, 16,739 students (77 percent) voted "Yes" and 4,991 students (23 percent) voted "No".

The poll was audited by auditing firm SizweNtsalubaGobodo.

Reports that "77 percent of Wits students" want to return to class today, as stated in headlines by eNCA, ANN7, The New Age, The Mail and Guardian and the SABC, are therefore incorrect.

The headlines should have stated that 77 percent of students who responded to the poll voted for the university to reopen. When calculated as a percentage of the student body as a whole, 45 percent of students voted for the university to reopen.