Prominent and outspoken university official, Wits University Vice Chancellor Adam Habib takes a characteristically frank view of the past three years on South Africa’s campuses in his new book Rebels and Rage: Reflecting on #FeesMustFall.
To discuss the book and why he decided to write it, Habib sits down with Eusebius McKaiser. Habib says one of the reasons he wrote about the #FeesMustFall movement is that many people didn't know what happened.
There was a lot of rhetoric, there was a lot of emotion but people didn't know what was happening. From simple things like was I hijacked on that morning to stay overnight in the concourse? Or did I do it voluntarily? All those little issues were just not tabulated.— Adam Habib, Vice Chancellor - Wits University
He says he was concerned with a very crude caricature that came about in the early reflections of #FeesMustFall.
One was that the vice chancellors and your liberal individuals who want to do-in black students and then black students are the radical inteligencia building a new society. I think it was crude, it was caricatured but I wanted to reflect the complexities of that story.— Adam Habib, Vice Chancellor - Wits University
He adds that the first part of the book is to set the historical record of the events that took place before, during and after the protests.
I agree it is my perspective, and I think that somebody down the line will do a more distant measured analysis but this is my optics and I think it was important that the voice of vice-chancellors is put in the public discourse.— Adam Habib, Vice Chancellor - Wits University
To particularly understand the hard trade-offs that had to happen in making decisions, the multiplicities of conflicting demands that are made on a daily basis.— Adam Habib, Vice Chancellor - Wits University
Listen below to the full interview: