#WitsHungerStrike takes an ugly turn as students, security clash

Picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso/African News Agency (ANA)

Picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Feb 5, 2019


Johannesburg - A hunger strike by the SRC of University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) got off to a chaotic start on Tuesday as clashes and confrontations broke out between students and private security personnel.

On Monday, the Student Representative Council (SRC) in a statement announced that it, along with its "constituents", would embark on a peaceful hunger strike from Tuesday morning. 

The hunger strike follows protests on campus on Monday, which the SRC alleges were precipitated by management reneging on agreed upon concessions relating to student accommodation and registration of students with historical debt.   

On Tuesday, fed-up students occupied Solomon Mahlangu hall vowing to remain there until their demands were met. 

Picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso/African News Agency (ANA)

Things however, soon took an ugly turn when scuffles broke out between security personnel, hired by the university following Monday's protests, and striking students. 

Students brutalised by private securities for sleeping at the Solomon Mahlangu due to lack of accommodation at Wits #WitsHungerStrike pic.twitter.com/y4p3YUJ299

— Tanganedzani Mudau🍃🌹 (@kingsley_mudau) February 5, 2019

Videos and images soon emerged on social media, showing students clashing, and in at least one instance, being dragged across the floor by security. 

An altercation between Wits Dean and former Wits SRC President Mcebo Dlamini at the #Witshungerstrike. @ReporterStar @TheStar_news pic.twitter.com/sALDTy1Mc1

— Siphumelele Khumalo (@Siphumelele_K) February 5, 2019

Students have since met with Wits management over the issues raised. 


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