Sunday, 12 May 2013

University of the Witwatersrand Students Representative Council faces student revolt over anti-Israeli actions.

This fascinating plea by a claimed Witwatersrand Student has over 600 likes on Facebook already and has been tweeted about by the Wits Vuvuzela student newspaper. The student claims that the Witwatersrand University Students Representative Council, has sacrificed actual student needs for party politics. African National Congress Youth which is represented via their Progressive Youth Alliance do currently Run the Wits SRC. Mighti Jamie lists his name as Mighti Jamie (Uhuru Uhuru) [from this point I will call him Uhuru Uhuru]. Uhuru is Swahili for freedom. Swahili is not a native South African language. Uhuru Uhuru has 3 621 friends on facebook, and his address on Facebook claims he is the next Barack Obama. Observing his profile, on average maybe two dozen people like his posts on a day when many do. Uhuru Uhuru belongs to several religious groups on Facebook, and East African students groups, Limpopo University debating union, and African National Congress affiliated groups. He also is a member of the SASCO facebook group. There is suggestion he might have belonged to the Pan African Congress by someone who knew him on a profile picture. SASCO, of which he is a facebook member, has called for free university education. Uhuru Uhuru is also a member of the Witwatersrand Black Lawyers Association group.

Reportedly Uhuru Uhuru is highly influential among Wits African students. His actual name seems to be a mystery on campus, with people calling him just Jamie. He does appear perhaps, as is self proclaimed by Uhuru Uhuru, to be a law student, post graduate, although some on campus have speculated he is not a student, last year. He is confirmed as involved in debating, apparently as President of the Debating Team. Uhuru apparently can also apparently mean freedom from the 'white grip', and favourite topics of Uhuru Uhuru are Apartheid and race. Some of his posts seem somewhat dissatisfied with White South Africans. All of his posts start in letter format. However, the Wits Debating Union Student website lists Zweli Makgalamele as its Committee President. Apparently Uhuru Uhuru has had trouble with the Students Representative Council, and the Debating Union in the past, with a rumoured attempt to dislodge him from his purported position.

These doubts do make his post more interesting, especially his championing of the cause of foreign students, if he is one, or a student at all. None the less, the post going viral has its own power. This is thus newsworthy.

'Mighti Jamie
Dear Wits Student

I love my University , but I do not love what is happening to it.....

I love my University so much I spent two years homeless and hungry trying to raise money to continue my education, and now I am worried about this great institution, I am sure you are too....

The student representative council, has chosen to ignore the 'R' in SRC, they have chosen to turn our University into their political playground at the expense of our issues.

To be blunt, I do not care about Israel and or Palestine, I am a hungry poor black man and I have more immediate issues that bother me, issues like my inability to buy text books, my inability to raise printing money, issues such as the crowded libraries with few computers, issues such as the Kudu buck machines with no coin slots for the poor students.

I have not heard the SRC speak of these issues for the past three months, all they have been making noise about is the Israel Palestine issue, which is not immediate to me.

Other students have different issues, those who have been lucky enough to get cars, speak of the high costs of parking, and the inavailability of parking, they speak of the high costs of drop off tags.

All students have issues with wifi coverage, with printers, library closing times, with security on campus, with the cleanliness of bathrooms and with the registration process.

International students speak of the difficulty of raising thirty thousand upfront, and paying extra fees, they speak of the high costs of medical aid and the low quality of service from the medical aid providers. At Wits international students are on their own! Where is their representation?

White students are on their own, all those viewed to be non comradely are not represented, and that is a shame!!! Where is their representation?

Today the SRC tells us they are fighting for us, for the right to protest, yet the truth is they are telling half the story. They may have a right to protest, but the jewish students also have a right to congregate without being bullied or disrupted. JEWS ARE STUDENTS TOO, THEY DESERVE REPRESENTATION TOO....

Representation requires listening and speaking for all students
The SRC is not the toy of political parties to be used to divide us and to advance your personal ambition. Your job is not to serve some of us , but all of us.

You do not represent yourselves, or only the palestinian students, your job is to represent all of us....and you have not done that.

The SRC is unravelling the Unity we need to create amongst students, and with the adminstration of the University. We are all on the same side, we all want to be better and be in the top one hundred. The new vice chancellor was not allowed to speak and accept their memorandum. How does this build unity and cohesion with even new unaffiliated people?

I love many of the people on the SRC as individuals, they are great people and will do well in politics. But we have had enough of your politics at our expense, you have turned the University into your personal spaza shop and are holding us all at your mercy.

As a student I feel unrepresented by you, I feel ignored by you, but more importantly I feel like you have come to harm the institution I have sweated blood and tears to be a part of....

You have eroded unity, you have disrupted peaceful gatherings and caused commotion at our University....and you have done this in my name as a student....but I NEVER GAVE YOU PERMISSION TO ....

With love
a Concerned Wits student'

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