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Does Mcebo Dlamini Have a Point About Transformation at Wits? Yes and No – Adam Habib (Podcast)

South Africa's Suspended RevolutionRewolusie op ysNtwa ya Boitseko e Fanyehuweng ya Afrika BorwaInguqukombuso YeNingizimu Afrika Eyabondwa Yashiywa

 
Does Mcebo Dlamini, the former SRC President at Wits University who expressed his love for German leader Adolf Hitler on social media, have a point?

This question was put to the Vice-Chancellor of Wits, Professor Adam Habib, on Power FM, shortly after the news broke that no action would be taken against Dlamini for his views, which were ruled to constitute freedom of speech.

In the podcast, Habib says the answer depends on what Dlamini is talking about. If the issue that is being raised is that transformation hasn’t happened yet, Habib is happy to respond to that. “I think that part of what he says is accurate, what he’s saying is that we haven’t done enough on transformation, I think that that’s true.”

However if Dlamini is saying that “Wits is anti-black”, that is not a statement Habib can agree with. Habib tells an anecdote of when he was a student at Wits and his experience of racism in 1987. A lecturer told him that Wits was not the place for him, and he should rather join a university in Durban. “That was 35 years ago. Now, that no longer happens,” Habib says.

“Has Wits been racist in its past? Absolutely! Do we need to do more? Absolutely. But let’s talk about real issues.”

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