by Howard Feldman | May 5, 2015 1:50 pm
It must be more than a little upsetting for Wits VC, Professor Adam Habib to be accused of “caving in” to Zionist Jewish pressure following the removal of Mcebo Dlamini as President of the SRC. Mcebo recently publicly expressed his admiration for Hitler and then instead of retracting his statement, fell head over heels over himself in an attempting to defend his idiocy.
More upsetting is the disrepute that Dlamini brought to the university, not only for his racism and bigotry, but more than anything, for his breathtaking and jaw-dropping stupidity. If this is the standard of the Wits product, and this is the quality of the student who was able to assume the position of leadership at the university, serious concerns need to be raised.
Take a walk through the forest of his mindless meanderings and one is not only able to fill one’s basket with gems like “Blacks by definition can’t be racist” and other pearls, but a short distance in, there have to be a very few who won’t tire, and will still able to follow the convoluted paths of his thought process. I tried. I really tried. I was convinced that deep down, beneath the hateful and hurtful there would be a shy, misunderstood, decent youth screaming to get out. Turns out I am wrong, and all that he is, is a moronic racist who does damage every time he attempts to communicate. That forest, was clearly not a place for the likes of me.
Professor Habib handled the situation with grace and with wisdom. He acted swiftly, he communicated with students and with the press, and will no doubt pull the university back from the abyss that it was in danger of plunging into. He is not a “Zionist” but is intellectually honest enough to balance his personal views with the credo of the university and has done so, in this case, with elegance.
That said, in order to understand how Dlamini was able to assume the position of SRC President, one has to note the appointment process. There are 15 elected seats available. Dlamini stood on the PYA ticket, which is in essence a conglomeration of ANC Youth League, SASCO, The Muslim Student Association, the Palestinian Solidarity Committee (whose representative is the vice chair of the SRC) and the Young Communist League. Once elected, there is a “Deployment Committee” which of 3 members of the PYA who advise the newly elected SRC who they need to vote for in terms of positions within the SRC.
The remarkable fact is that Dlamini has publicly proven himself to be dishonest. He has claimed to be the “love child” of Walter Sisulu and then when unable to stop the lie from spreading, defended his actions by saying that he can be whomever he chooses to be (I think he might have mixed up Dr Seuss with Dr Strange). And yet, the ANCYL and co still decided that this was the bloke best suited to represent them. The mind seriously boggles. And even when he later brought disgrace to himself, to his university and indeed the country, these organizations continued to remain alarmingly silent as to his conduct.
Surely at the very least we should expect condemnation from the ANCYL, the Communist Party and Muslim Student Association? Surely at the very least he should be called in to someone’s office and told to stop talking. Just to stop talking. No radio. No TV. No statements. No speaking. Not a word. But there was no condemnation and no one telling him to stop his stupidity. Clearly this is a lot less about Wits and more about the company he keeps.
The lack of condemnation by these groups is a major concern. Given this level of racism, we should hardly shocked when the country explodes into Xenophobic violence. It is simply a matter of joining the dots.
Wits should not bear this responsibility alone. They have accepted it, taken ownership and they have dealt with it. But the Dlamini problem is not only Professor Habib’s. Sadly, it’s all of ours. And it would be smart for us to realize that.
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