/ 7 March 2023

Wits University suspends student representative council president

Wits SRC president, Aphiwe Mnyamana

The University of the Witwatersrand has confirmed the suspension of the student representative council (SRC) president, Aphiwe Mnyamana, following allegations of misconduct. 

Mnyamana announced his suspension on Twitter on Monday afternoon, saying he was waiting for instructions from his legal adviser, Dali Mpofu.

Wits students began protesting last Wednesday over the exclusion of peers who cannot register for the new academic year because they owe the university money, or cannot secure accommodation at residences because they cannot afford the deposit.

Wits spokesperson Shirona Patel confirmed the president’s suspension, saying: “We confirm that Mr Mnyamana was suspended on 6 March 2023 after he failed to appear at a suspension hearing scheduled despite having been provided with ample opportunity to make representations at such hearing.”

Patel said the allegations against Mnyamana are of a serious nature and relate to conduct that infringed on the rights of other students, resulted in damage to property, and the intimidation of members of the university community, among other things.

“He will not be allowed to access any of Wits’s precincts, participate in university activities and engage in conduct which constitutes ‘student privileges’, and will not be allowed to stay in Wits residences until the legal process is finalised,” Shirona said.

In response, the SRC said the suspension was a personal attack on Mnyamana and an attempt at intimidation by the university.

“This comes as a form of trying to silence the SRC into trying to raise just and fair issues that affect student affairs around registration and accommodation,” said the SRC in a statement.

The SRC claims that Mnyamana did not neglect or ignore the suspension hearing and that he was willing to comply with the notice.

“The only issue which impeded him from attending physically was because he was not around Braamfontein or campus in which the meeting was scheduled to take place,” said the SRC.