Wits SRC backtracks on shut down

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The newly elected University of Witwatersrand’s Student Representative Council (SRC) cancelled a planned shut down of academic activities shortly before midnight on Thursday.

The Economic Freedom Fighters-led student council said it received a “plethora of complaints” immediately after a mass meeting outside the Great Hall, where the decision to embark on a ‘FeesMustFall’ protest on Friday, was taken.

“Students residing off campus have expressed concern over calendar extension. Students argue that unlike those in residences, they would incur additional charges from providers of private accommodation,” the SRC said in a statement.

“As an SRC that holds a view that we are mandated by students, we have reached the conclusion that the number of students present at the mass meeting did not represent a holistic demographic of the university.”

The shut down during year-end examinations was not a way to “look after one another”, said the student council.

“The decision is final. Students should continue studying in the libraries and computer laboratories in order to fully prepare for exams. The exams will continue as planned.”

The EFF Student Command (EFFSC) won the Wits SRC elections last month, taking over from the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA), made up of the South African Students Congress (Sasco), African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) and the Young Communist League of SA (YCL). The red berets won 12 out of 15 SRC seats.