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Statement on Protests at Wits

The Department of Media Studies affirms its support for the nationwide struggle to make quality higher education accessible for all South Africans who gain university entrance. We commend Wits students and workers for taking a difficult position with potentially harmful personal consequences in order to to fight for true transformation and political progress within the university sector. We believe that education must be a right rather than a privilege given only to those who can afford it.

We condemn all acts of violence: both those perpetrated by protesters and those, less widely reported on, perpetrated against protesters. At the same time, we commend the vast majority of Wits students for their commitment to peaceful protest. We implore students to continue to maintain the thoughtful, non-violent mode of the protests that characterised most of the last four days and we hope that Council will negotiate with them in good faith, in a manner that is transparent and concerned with the future of the academic project and the nation itself.

We are proud of all our students: the journalists, the participants, the supporters. We stand with you.

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