Voice clip warns ‘one white student must die’ to make Wits accede to protesters’ demands

05 October 2016 - 17:47 By Neo Goba
Wits students protesting on 4 October 2016.
Wits students protesting on 4 October 2016.
Image: Abigail Javier

A voice clip was circulated on social media on Tuesday evening warning that in order to get Witwatersrand University vice chancellor Adam Habib to accede to students’ demands "one white student must die".

A female voice on the clip in which the threat is made‚ states: "I was saying that‚ these Fees Must Fall protesters are saying that the way that [Adam] Habib is handling this whole Fees Must Fall situation‚ is very arrogant and that is what is aggravating protesters even more.

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"So they are saying that in order to get Habib's explanation‚ at least one white student must die‚ whether male or female. They feel that is the only way that they will get Habib to meet the demands of the protesters. So if these kids go on with this plan of action that they have‚ they are walking straight into an ambush‚ that's all I'm saying."

Wits incoming Student Representative Council president Kefentse Mkhari has distanced the student leaders from the threat.

"I don’t know anything about the voice note‚ in fact I'm hearing it for the first time from you. There have been many speculations and comments around process [of Fees Must Fall campaign] and we can't really control what people say‚" said Mkhari.

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"We have a programme of action to ensure that we get what we want and there is no way that we can endanger students’ lives. Even what turned out yesterday‚ turned out because of two racist white police because we were marching peacefully and they shot at us‚" added Mkhari.

The university sent out a statement saying the voice message has come to its attention and that it would investigate the matter.

"The information has been passed on to the Wits security and legal teams‚ as well as the police‚ and will be investigated. We are aware of a voice clip that has been circulating on social media inciting violence against particular race groups. Please do not continue to share these clips‚" the university said.

They also requested anyone with information to come forward and share it with the institutions Head of Security Mokgawa Kobe on (011) 717-1852 or the Legal Office.

On Tuesday evening‚ the university said it suspended its “academic programme with a common objective to resume it in full on Monday”.

WATCH: Dissent spreads among Wits students over #FeesMustFall shutdown

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