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"I Love Hitler" comments "free speech" -Wits

  • Dlamini HOME
Wits closes the Dlamini/Hitler case deeming the comments free speech - but “abhorrent” and “not in standing with (Wits’) values.” However, the SA Jewish Board of Deputies’ has no intention of dropping their criminal and SA Human Rights Council charges regarding the event.
by ANT KATZ | Jul 15, 2015

Hitler case closed at Wits

Dr Randall Carolisse, the chair of Council at University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), published the university’s findings on several charges against former SRC head Mcebo Dlamini on Tuesday.

Wits dlamini Habib HOME



Pictured above and right: Mcebo Dlamini 


 Among these were:

  • The decision that the “I Love Hitler” statements by Dlamini met the Constitutional requirements of free speech and that case was thus dismissed;
  • The upholding of a 2014 judgement after an “independent Appeal and Review Committee confirmed the finding of the Student Discipline Committee that he was guilty of misconduct”;
  • On the basis of the confirmation of this finding, the Council formally confirmed VC Habib’s decision to require Dlamini to stand down from the SRC but remain a student at Wits; and    
  • The Committee did not uphold a second charge relating to another 2014 incident.


Full statement from Wits Council on 14 July
 

The Council of the University of the Witwatersrand today learned of the outcome of the review of the disciplinary decision against the former Students’ Representative Council (SRC) President, Mr Mcebo Dlamini.

There were two charges relating to events which occurred in 2014.

On the first charge the independent Appeal and Review Committee confirmed the finding of the Student Discipline Committee that he was guilty of misconduct. The Committee did not uphold a second charge relating to another 2014 incident. On the basis of the confirmation of the first finding, the Council hereby confirms the Vice-Chancellor's decision to require him to stand down from the SRC. He will remain a student at Wits.    

(The above) process has nothing to do with Mr Dlamini’s ‘Hitler’ comments. After complaints were received, the University's Legal Office undertook a thorough investigation. On the basis of existing case evidence, the Legal Office found that Mr Dlamini's utterances did not breach the exceptions to the Constitution regarding freedom of speech. There are grounds for him to be charged for failing to meet his fiduciary requirements as SRC President. However, given the fact that he has already been removed from this capacity, the University does not deem it appropriate to charge him in this regard.

Obviously, the University still holds the view that Mr Dlamini's remarks were abhorrent and not in standing with the values of this institution. The University remains embarrassed that one of its own could have made such comments. However, given its commitment to freedom of speech as espoused in the Constitution, the University is committed to providing a space for the free exchange of ideas, whether or not it agrees with those ideas.

While on this occasion, the matter is not being taken any further, the University takes allegations which infringe on the dignity of members of the Wits community and wider society very seriously. It also takes its reputation very seriously. The University will therefore continue to engage with all stakeholders to ensure that we all act within the broader interests and values of the institution.

The University is of the opinion that these matters have now run their course and are considered closed.

Dr Randall Carolisse, chair of Council at University of the Witwatersrand - 14 July 2015


2 Comments

  1. 2 Denis Solomons 15 Jul
    Dlamini's comments are abhorrent and disdainful.
    Wits has not been strict enough !
    It just makes one want to get out and leave the country.
  2. 1 Alex 15 Jul
    What he does not realise is that Hitler hates him and all non Aryan people and that Verwoerd was Pro Hitler as well just shows how much he knows but he needs the attention to boost his standing with the anti semites in order to rise up in the ranks and be the perfect leader for all human kind !!!!

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