Wits SRC and Habib at odds on why assembly postponed

Wits University SRC Secretary General Fassiah Haasan and Vice Chancellor Prof. Adam Habib disagree on events that led to the cancellation of the general assembly.

Habib says the university postponed the general assembly because students did not want to commit to reopening the academic programme on Monday.

He says students said they will not agree to the resumption of the university programmes unless there is a commitment to free education.

I am not the President of this country. I cannot make a commitment of free education.

Prof. Adam Habib, Wits Vice Chancellor

This was a massive opportunity for the students but they couldn't take it because they couldn't win consensus, and let's be honest, that's the issue. If it is not true, why is it that I have a pamphlet next to me which says 'there is a national shutdown until government declares free education'.

Prof. Adam Habib, Wits Vice Chancellor

Wits SRC Secretary General Fassiah Haasan says all students want to go back to school but refuse go return with nothing to show after three weeks of difficult protest action.

Haasan says they agreed on the general assembly because they want a solution and the opportunity to engage the university leadership.

Students want to go back to class, but we need the commitment from the state around free education.

Fassiah Haasan, Wits SRC secretary general

All of us want to go back. But we cannot back with nothing. Not when our students have been permanently scarred on their faces because of stun grenades being thrown too close. Not when we have put our future and degrees on the line.

Fassiah Haasan, Wits SRC secretary general

Habib says the vast majority of the students want the academic programme to resume. He says the Council will have to decide whether the university will re-open or not.

Listen to the full interview below for more information

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