Habib takes over at Wits

Habib's appointment, which was confirmed in December 2012, commenced on June 1, the university said in a statement.

He took over from Professor Loyiso Nongxa, who served in the position for 10 years.

"Wits has incredible energy and depth, and promises to be world-class," Habib said in the statement.

"It is probably the most diverse university on the African continent in terms of its demography, programmes and ideas," he said.

"It is definitely a microcosm of South Africa and a dichotomy of note, which makes it a very exciting and challenging place to lead."

He had outlined six priority projects in the short-term, which included acquiring the best academic talent.

"I am ready to engage robustly in the global war for the very best academic talent," said Habib.

"If we are going to be the best, then we have to secure the best scholars and scientists on the planet.

"This also means that we need to look after those who are already on board, and who are productive and leading the way in their respective areas."

Habib was an analyst, a political commentator, and deputy vice-chancellor of research, innovation and advancement at the University of Johannesburg before moving to Wits. – Sapa

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