Most popular Witsie resigns from SRC

  • zaganoev signiture
Leon Jamaine Mithi (pictured), a law student who heads up the DA-aligned ProjectW faction of the Wits SRC and polled the most votes in the election of this year’s SRC, shocked everyone on campus Monday by tendering his resignation to VC Prof Adam Habib. Mihti blames actions and inactions by Prof Habib’s office for his resignation. Habib told Jewish Report this was nonsense. See the Spotlighting graphic that got the Prof tweeting up a storm Tuesday.
by Jewish Report | Jul 15, 2015

In his letter of resignation, Mithi essentially blames Habib’s inaction to a litany of travails he has had to endure over the past two years. “It is my view that the Vice Chancellor has not acted in the interests of the students in creating a functional body and that the Vice Chancellor has been biased towards the interests of the BDS movement as well as the MSA movement within the SRC,” says Mithi in his resignation.

The Wits SRC is made up of two broad groupings, ProjectW and the ANC-aligned PYA (Progressive Youth Alliance), These two factions are constantly at odds with one another.

Habib Adam AprilMithi says he resigns with “deep regret” but cannot continue to face incidents such as “several violent attacks.” He says he has lodged a complaint with photographic evidence and numerous witness accounts, but “to this day, no action has been taken against the perpetrators of this political intimidation,” Mihti tells Habib - PICTURED RIGHT.

His main reason for resigning is that he has “lost confidence in the office of the Vice Chancellor and in his ability and interest in ensuring a functional student body, and he accuses Habib of running the SRC in the best interests of students’ “political affiliations.”

Mighty Jaimi, as he is commonly known on campus, says he has also been the victim of “political intimidation and xenophobic attacks,” and had been told “to go back to my country (Zimbabwe).”

Spotlighting and Prof Habib go to i-War

The pro-Israel group SpotlightingSA posted the resignation letter on Tuesdaywith an anti-Wits graphic (see also below this story) which resulted in a flurry of tweets from Prof Habib, some of which we run below. . 

MightiProf Habib spoke to Jewish Report Wednesday afternoon on his way back from Tzaneen to Johannesburg.

LEFT: Prof Habib sent out some rapid-fire tweets to SpotlightingSA yesterday

He said that he had no intention to engage Mihti on his resignation. “People make all sorts of unacceptable comments,” said Habib.

“My Job is to apply rules equally and fairly to all. All of the decisions Mr Mihti is unhappy with were made by the management team,” explained Prof Habib, and not just himself.

The VC said that many of the allegations made by Mihti in his resignation letter had been MADE IN MARCH.

Habib says he had engaged with Mihti at that stage, all allegations were investigated and the outcome report had been discussed with the SRC.

Rationale in question

“I cannot but wonder whether Mr Mihti may have another rationale” in his resignation, says Prof Habib. “I refuse to get embroiled in student politics or become student elections,” he said adamantly.

mighti2“I think this is an attempt to heighten the (political) mood” on campus, said the vice-Chancellor.

The Council is fully appraised of and behind all decisions he has made, says Prof Habib.

“One of the ironies of what Jamie is alleging,” said Habib,“is that I have discussed the outcomes” of investigations into these issues with him.

“He is doing exactly what he accuses (deposed-SRC president) Mcebo Dlamini of doing.”

He has also been consistently threatened with violence on social media platforms, crimen injuria, and had been physically attacked on campus by BDS sympathisers “and my identity was stolen with the intent of defaming my character.”

In all of these instances, Mithi tells the Vice Chancellor, he has laid complaints to the Wits authorities, provided “damning evidence” including pictures and video material, yet Wits did not press charges “or even have the courtesy to inform me as the victim of the progress of my complaint(s).”

Mihti also complains of “a deliberate attempt to undermine the functionality of the SRC by several members of the BDS and PYA movement,” by their creation of “fluff portfolios (being) created in the SRC with no responsibilities and duties on campus.”

Having received the most votes in the SRC election, Mihti can be considered the most popular student among Wits students. He accuses Habib of having “ruled in favour of the creation of those (fluff) portfolios in the face of evidence that they were not in the best interests of the students.”

Mihti’s resignation letter continues: “Throughout the term of office of this SRC there have been several irregularities that have been ignored or tacitly condoned by the VC. In the first instance the SRC failed to meet for several months, the executive took decisions which were beyond their constitutional powers and they spent funding on BDS campaigns. The SRC invited BDS lobby groups and representatives to speak on behalf of the SRC without obtaining the prior consent of the SRC as a structure. The SRC ran events on education campus using the exclusive branding of PYA structures even though the SRC is meant to be a neutral structure, these events were paid for using SRC funding.

“Several non PYA SRC members were meant to deliver their portfolio obligations with zero budgetary allowance. I personally was forced to use my private funds to host fitness classes at the University. I paid the trainers out of pocket and printed posters out of pocket.

Mighti1“In the attempt to deliver services to the student community on an area which the VC had said was a priority, namely health and wellness, I found myself with no university support.

“The SRC has spent over R50,000 on repairs in the SRC offices in the first semester, but the last time I used the offices the toilet seats which were missing had not been replaced and the door to the projects office was still broken.

The VC dismissed these concerns of Prima Fasciae funding irregularities with threats of disciplinary action. This in my view was undue intimidation of student concerns. When a complaint was made and investigated, the findings were not acted upon even though they were in agreement with the complaint raised. It is my view that the VC was biased in failing to act against Shaeera Kalla and her compatriots within the PYA.

“The Frat House project which was conceptualized by myself in the year 2013 and funded to the extent of R500,000 has been closed for the duration of 2014 and 2015 thus far.

“This was a signature initiative of the Say students Office of the SRC, PYA members did not come to the meetings and did not offer any input into the project. However the VC has allowed the pilot to not commence and has even allowed the office of the Day students to be dissolved into nothingness. Nine months have passed since the Frat House was ready for opening. However to appease the PYA leadership the VC has entertained the renaming of the house, the renaming of the project (outside of SRC approval), the delay in opening.

“The political concern of the PYA being to undermine the contributions of PROJECTW to student life. Their interests have been entertained by the VC and even protected.

“Morris Mukhove is a staunch supporter of the ANC, he served in the SRC as a PYA member and currently is CEO of an organization known as Thusanani Foundation which receives backing from high level leadership within the ANC, to the extent that its key events are patronized by none other than the President of the Republic Jacob Zuma. The relationship that the VC has with this organization does not encourage views of his independence as he is closely aligned to it.

“The VC has also stubbornly continued to address all students as COMRADES, a label which is currently in the political register of the republic mostly used in reference to staunch supporters of the ANC, on all occasions the VC can be said to be advancing the propaganda of the ANC by trying to make student label themselves with this political title which serves only the ANC. This is in my view a continuation of the lack of impartiality of the VC in dealing with matters pertaining to the ANC, BDS, PYA and its affiliate organisations.

“In its totality the behaviour of the Vice Chancellor has not inspired my confidence to continue serving on any structure under his oversight. I do not believe any more in his objectivity and independence. My experience has given me no indications of his commitment to creating a functional and accountable SRC and I am left with no other recourse than to step down from this esteem structure I have served diligently for the past two years of my life.

“Yours in deep regret, Leon Jamaine Mithi.”

Related reads on this website

Mihti SpotlightingThe SpotlightingSA graphic that got Wits' goat up


  1. 2 nat cheiman 16 Jul
    I said it before and I am going to tell you "I TOLD YOU SO".
    Habib runs with the hares and hunts with the hounds.
    He is partial to BDS. So would I be if I were a Muslim.
    You cannot blame him. A leopard does not change its spots. However, DO NOT TRUST THE MAN. He is not going to be equitable as long as he has a hole in his rectum.
    He is not independent, cannot be and it is unreasonable to expect him to be.
    Inasmuch as the Dean of law cannot be impartial for several reasons, either. Dlamini is a black man and so is the dean of law allegedly.
    It is also possible that the dean of law does not fully understand what hate speech is all about and it may also be prudent to mention that the dean of law may never have heard of a chap called Adolf Hitler. Not everybody is proficient with historical facts.
    The dean may not have practiced as a lawyer before either. These facts need to be verified before an accusation is levelled against the dean. But the SAJBD has laid charges against Dumbo Dlamini and it is likely that a court will make a finding regarding the alleged hate speech and also as to the competence of the dean of law who sat and adjudicated the matter. Perhaps he should have recused himself . We will find out about Dumbo and the dean in due course.
    In the meantime, the savage recommendation by Dumbo to necklace the Sasco students who went to Israel is perhaps a threat / intimidation and/ or an incitement to violence.
    Of course the savage may be himself the target of a necklace by his detractors. Who knows.
    Whatever the case may be, it surely cannot do Wits more harm than was done by the Hitler remark.
    In conclusion, regarding Habib. Can a leopard change his spots? Of course he can. When he moves from spot to spot. This chameleon like activity is what Habib may be contemplating right now. 
  2. 1 Jonni 22 Jul
    Sorry to say but Nat is so prejudiced and full of hatred that his comments are  distasteful .
    He continues to use sweeping generalisations and foul language. I wonder if he ever attended a University and/or has participated in any meaningful debates ??


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