Shots of a fractured the second semester.
If I had to some up the second semester in one word it would be: Democracy. Wits has been an active playground for democracy rule to effect, falter and correct itself through the national general elections and various protests. Here are some of the shots I took of the activity.
MANIFESTO: In a build up to the Local Government Elections the ANC pulled out all the stops with their student manifesto drive on Wits Universities main campus. Former Johannesburg mayor Parks Tau, accompanied by Minister of Home Affairs Melusi Gigaba and local celebrities, addressed Wits students in a bid to secure the student vote. The day was filled with promises of youth employment, safer metro and clinical (or not) dabbing.
KANGA: The annual Silent Protest was held on the August 17. The Silent March began at Rhodes University 10 years ago. Today the fight against sexual violence wages on. This year’s Silent Protest was centred around stopping the war on women’s bodies and providing PPA for all who need it. It was also all the more sgnificant as it took place shortly after the Silent Protest for Khwezi whilst the President was speaking the elections result centre in Pretoria. The protest marked 10 years since the rape trial which meant ten years since the start of the protest which was started in Khwezi’s honour.
WITSMED: Workers at Wits University took to the streets of Johannesburg to march against what they call is a discriminattory clause which binds them to expensive medical aid provided by thge university. Most workers reported that the medical aid cost amounted to half of their salaries. Their demand was for Wits to scrape the clause of mandatory membersip as well as being given cheaper medical aid options across nthe board.
Free Education: Following the Minister of Higher Education and Training’s announcement about an 8% fee increase for students who come from households which earn above R600 000, the Wits SRC announced a shutdown of the University. The protests which started out as peaceful and without incident soon became violent as students threw rocks at private security in a bid to gain entry into Solomon Mahlangu House. Following the events of the initial rock hurling the campus has been heavily gaurded by a combination of campus bouncers and the South African Police Service’s Tactical Response Team. Flying rocks, teargas essence rubbler bullets and explosives in the form of stun grenades or firecrackers have become familiar friends on the Universities main campus as SET struggles to save the academic year and keep the University open.