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Do community service or lose degrees




Wits 11 warned

Wits Vuvuzela campus newspaper last Friday carried a story quoting Tokelo Nhlapo, deputy president of the Student Representative Council last year and one of eleven students found guilty of hooliganism for the disruption of a concert by German-resident Israeli-born Yossi Reshef, as saying: “We are not prepared to do business with Zionists who kill Palestinian women and children.”

LEFT: Adam Habib has taken
a tough stance on hooliganism


Read the background story:
Hooliganism dealt harsh blow by Habib

 The “Wits 11” as they have come to be known, are adamantly refusing to do the community service that vice-chancellor Prof Adam Habib imposed on them in January and now face the threat of not being awarded their degrees.Ten of the eleven students, who were disciplined by Wits University in January, are maintaining their refusal to carry out their sentence.

The students were charged with, and found guilty of, misconduct after interrupting the Yossi Reshef concert and ordered to do 80 hours of community service. But according to the vice-chancellor’s office, only one of the eleven is making arrangements to do so. 

Wits 11
PIC RIGHT: Refusenick-in-Chief
Tokelo Nhlapo, one of the Wits 11 says the group will not comply with the community service sentence.


“We are not prepared to do business with Zionists who kill Palestinian women and children” Tokelo Nhlapo told Vuvuzela.

Nhlapo said the university had used a policy from 1988 to charge them and believes the ruling was illegal and unconstitutional in the new South Africa.

He says that the eleven are pursuing every option available. “We are in contact with a constitutional judge who is willing to review our charge,” he told Vuvuzela.

According to an email from the vice-chancellor’s office, signed by Kanina Foss (acting communications manager), the Wits 11 risk not completing their degrees if the community service is not carried out.

They “will not be deemed to have met the requirements of the University for completion of their degrees” if they do not comply with their sentence, read the email.


In response, Nhlapo told Wits Vuvuzela he does not believe that the university will succeed in sentencing them for a crime they did not commit. He said, “We believe what we did was in the interest of the University.”

He added that one of the 11, Aphelele Phindani, already graduated in March and therefore they “refuse to comply with every fibre in their bodies.”

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