Student union slams poll on reopening Wits‚ accuses Habib of avoiding student leaders

30 September 2016 - 21:32 By Neo Goba

The South African Union of Students (SAUS) has accused the vice-chancellors of the universities of the Witwatersrand University Cape Town of avoiding meetings with student leaders. Adam Habib and Max Price “must either decide whether they want to be vice-chancellors or political analysts. They can’t blow cold and speak hot‚" said SAUS president Avela Mjajubana.He was speaking during a media briefing after a meeting with ministers in the security cluster on Friday afternoon on plans to address the violent protests at universities.SAUS's secretary general Sthembiso Ndlovu criticised Habib and students who participated in the poll on whether they wanted lectures to resume‚ with appropriate security in place."In as much as Wits students must go back to class‚ but they must not be subjected to some polling of voting as if Habib cannot go and speak to the SRC [students’ representative council] and find long lasting solutions‚" said Ndlovu.The poll was held on Thursday. The results‚ released on Friday afternoon‚ showed that 77% of students want the university to reopen and 23% do not. There were 21 730 responses‚ with 16 739 students saying they want to return to class.The university has been shut for almost two weeks‚ following Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande's announcement on September 19 that universities can raise tuition fees for the 2017 academic year‚ but the increments would be capped at eight percent.“There are many students from upper middle class and well-off families‚ as well as students on full company bursaries in our institutions who can afford to pay the adjusted 2017 fees‚ and we expect them to do so‚” he said at the time.“I have constituted the Ministerial Task Team on funding support for the poor and “missing middle” students‚ which is developing a model that will be tested in 2017 to provide affordable support to these students.” – TMG Digital

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