Sunday, 15 November 2015



As staff committed to a UWC where all are respected and listened to with the aim of being understood, we recognise that the issues currently facing UWC and higher education at large are complex matters. But this week and today the very existence and future of our university is in doubt.

For this reason, we call upon key role players at UWC to participate in a process of mediation and open conversation, preferably one facilitated by neutral external third parties. This must seek to collectively pave a way forward regarding the current impasse at the institution, to carry through on the processes set in motion and agreements reached thus far with the student movement, and to restore the campus to normality. We regard this as a matter of extreme urgency, to be resolved as soon as possible in the best interests of all parties and UWC at large.

Recognizing that the SRC is the democratically elected student body, we nonetheless believe that in this historic moment, we are called upon to open civic engagement on campus to broader participation by all relevant student interest groups. For this reason we advocate for the inclusion of representatives of the #FeesMustFall/FeesWillFall (UWC) movement, as well as the university executive, in the mediation process. Mass student meetings have demonstrated conclusively that the student movement, which emerged nationally in the last month, has substantial support at UWC.

What has been apparent on campus is the multiple manifestations of violence at both the physical level and at deeper structural levels. We strongly condemn the turn to physical violence to property and person by supporters of the student movement on Wednesday last week (11 November). At the same time, the heavy police presence and securitization of campus has contributed to a cycle of violence that ranges from rubber bullet injuries to the sexual harassment of female students.

We acknowledge that these strategies were put in place with the intention of safeguarding students and staff in the volatile situation created by the national student rising. However this kind of securitization, which was apparent from 23rd October escalating to the ‘campus lockdown’ over the weekend of 31 October-1 November, has given rise to conditions of mistrust, resistance, and fear. This was also heightened that weekend and into the following week by the use of a private security company many of whose employees were frightening-looking former soldiers.

Overall, the safety of students and staff alike has been called into question by acts of violence from both sides. Enormous damage has been done, both physical and emotional. We therefore reiterate the importance of a move toward non-violent approaches on all levels. Violence in any form, including that perpetrated by students on campus this week, is not condoned and is unacceptable as a means to solve the challenges we face.

Recognition of the multiple actors, silent and vocal, physical and structural, that underpin the prevalence and persistence of violence in post-apartheid South Africa is urgently necessary. It is important to acknowledge that underpinning the experience of physical violence on our campus are the much more insidious forms of structural violence that play out in so many ways in our students’ lives.

It is abundantly clear that the letter from the chairperson of the UWC council, Mthunzi Mdwaba, published on Monday 9th November, played a central role in reigniting protest action this week. In so doing it helped create the conditions in which violence has reached unprecedented levels.  We request that information be provided on whether or not the chair consulted with other council members before he issued the statement. We hope that the students’ request for an urgent meeting of council will be given due consideration and publicly supported by the university executive.
Finally, we request that executive management take urgent steps to remedy the extremely serious situation that currently obtains in student residences. Students are feeling highly exposed, vulnerable and under siege. These appalling conditions have contributed greatly to tensions on campus.

We call for the urgent opening of channels of communication between all stakeholders on campus, that are ongoing and sustainable, and that have at their centre a future non-violent approach.

We ask for all stakeholders at UWC to sign this statement as soon as possible, and to distribute it to other staff members.

We ask for all stakeholders at UWC to support this statement by sending  a message of support ( including your name and your department / position) to


First nameLast NameDepartment/PositionTitle
GordonAdamsDepartment of AccountingMr.
MeganAdamsInstitute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS)Ms.
FionaAncianoDepartment of Political StudiesDr.
UrsulaArendsInstitute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS)Ms.
FelixBandaDepartment of LinguisticsProfessor
Simon Beck Department of Religion and Theology, Philosophy DivisionProfessor
HeikeBeckerDepartment of Anthropology and SociologyProfessor
ShirleyBrooksDepartment of Geography, Environmental Studies and TourismAssociate Professor
LindsayClowesDepartment of Women's and Gender StudiesAssociate Professor
ErnstConradieDepartment of Religion and TheologyProfessor
InaConradieInstitute for Social DevelopmentDr.
Diane CooperSchool of Public HealthProfessor
BenCousinsInstitute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS)Professor and SARChI Chair
CourtneyDavidsDepartment of EnglishDr.
PeterDelobelleSchool of Public HealthDr.
UmaDhupelia-MesthrieDepartment of HistoryProfessor and Deputy Dean, Arts Faculty
JackieDornbrackDepartment of Language EducationDr.
Andriesdu ToitInstitute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) (Director)Professor
Marijkedu ToitTeaching and Learning, Faculty of ArtsDr.
AlexDubbInstitute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian StudiesMr.
CharlinDyersDepartment of LinguisticsProfessor
HansEngdahlDepartment of Religion and TheologyExtraordinary Professor
Jean-BakaEntfellnerSANBI (UWC) and Department of Computer ScienceDr.
RogerFieldDepartment of EnglishDr.
DavidFisherDepartment of Medical BioscienceProfessor and Deputy Dean, Science Faculty
MikiFlockemannDepartment of EnglishExtraordinary Professor
Jung RanForteDepartment of Anthropology and SociologyDr.
AlisonFullardLibrary Services (Deputy Director)Ms.
DianaGibsonDepartment of Anthropology and SociologyProfessor
HeidiGrunebaumCentre for Humanities Research (CHR)Dr.
RuthHallInstitute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS)Associate Professor
MaryHamesGender Equity UnitMs.
PatriciaHayesDepartment of HistoryProfessor and SARChI Chair
BradleyHazelSchool of Public HealthDr.
CarlaHenryInstitute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian StudiesMs.
KateHighmanDepartment of EnglishDr.
PhilipHirschsohnSchool of Business and FinanceProfessor
Mark HoskinsDepartment of Political StudiesMr.
DonnaHornbyInstitute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS)Dr.
MoeniebaIsaacsInstitute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS)Associate Professor
PaoloIsraelDepartment of HistoryDr.
CatherineKellDepartment of LinguisticsAssociate Professor
GillianKerchhoffInstitute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS)Ms.
LuciaKnightSchool of Public HealthDr.
RichardKnightDepartment of Biodiversity and Conservation BiologyDr.
ElizeKochDepartment of PsychologyExtraordinary Professor
Peter KohlerDepartment of EnglishMr.
AntjieKrogFaculty of ArtsExtraordinary Professor
Martin LegassickDepartment of HistoryProfessor Emeritus
UtaLehmannSchool of Public HealthProfessor
DesireeLewisDepartment of Women's and Gender StudiesAssociate Professor
SurayaMahomedSchool of Public HealthMs.
DeliaMarshallDepartment of PhysicsProfessor
VeronaMathewsSchool of Public HealthMs.
NamhlaMatshandaDepartment of Political StudiesDr.
GlentonMatthyseGender Equity UnitMr.
JulianMayInstitute for Social Development (ISD) (Director)Professor
RiedwaanMoosageDepartment of HistoryMr.
FairazMullageeSocial Law ProjectMs.
RedaNajaarAdministrator, UWC residencesMs.
SisaNgabazaDepartment of Women's and Gender StudiesDr.
DavidNevesInstitute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS)Mr.
Meshach OgunniyiSchool of Science & Mathematics EducationProfessor Emeritus
MarshallOngansieDepartment of Mathematics and Applied MathematicsMr.
HelenaPerez NinoInstitute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS)Dr.
Suren PillayCentre for Humanities Research (CHR)Associate Professor
LaurencePiperDepartment of PoliticsProfessor
PeterPluddemanDepartment of Language EducationDr.
JoelienPretoriusDepartment of Political StudiesDr.
RebeccaPointerInstitute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS)Ms.
EfuaPrahDepartment of Anthropology and SociologyDr.
LeonPretoriusSchool of GovernmentDr.
MargaretProbynDepartment of Foreign LanguagesMs.
ThandiPuoaneSchool of Public HealthMs.
AlanRalphsDivision for Lifelong LearningMr.
CirajRassoolDepartment of HistoryProfessor
GavinReagonSchool of Public HealthDr.
EdnaRichChild and Family Studies Unit, Department of Social WorkMs.
NickyRousseauDepartment of HistoryMs.
DavidSandersSchool of Public HealthProfessor Emeritus
NikkiSchaaySchool of Public HealthSenior Researcher
Helen SchneiderSchool of Public Health (Head of School)Professor
VeraScottSchool of Public HealthDr.
NonhlanhlaShandu-OmukunyiDepartment of Language EducationMs.
TamaraSheferDepartment of Women's and Gender StudiesProfessor
SharynSpicerDepartment of Anthropology and SociologyDr.
RonaldSpringfieldSchool of Business and FinanceMr.
ChristopherStroudCentre for Multilingualism and Diversities Research (CMDR) (Acting Director)Professor
TrishStruthersSchool of Public HealthExtraordinary Associate Professor
EmmanuelSulleInstitute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS)Mr.
BarbaraTapelaInstitute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS)Dr.
LungiswaTsolekileSchool of Public HealthMr.
Petervan HeusdenSANBI (UWC)Mr.
JacolienVolschenkDepartment of EnglishMs.
Shirley WaltersInstitute for Post-School Studies (IPSS)Professor Emerita
TersiaWarriesInstitute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS)Ms.
SamanthaWaterhouseWomen and Democracy Initiative, Dullah Omar InstituteMs.
Michael WesselsDepartment of EnglishAssociate Professor
HildaWilsonInternational Relations OfficeMs.
LeslieWitzDepartment of HistoryProfessor
WendyWoodwardDepartment of EnglishProfessor Emerita
ChristinaZarowskySchool of Public HealthExtraordinary Professor


  1. I hope that for the sake of this institution and every soul that is affected... That the executive and Council will hear this call and afford it its necessary procedure. Our campus is a military base and we need to sort our core issues to the point that we never face what is happening here again. FMF wants to sit down with council and draft solutions.This call for council to meet students has costed our institution dearly and i encourage academics to find out why through credible research. The aim now is not to point fingers but rather to offer a platform whereby staff, students, executive and Council meet and shape a way forward that will save our institutions legacy. So i thank you all so much for making this call, its high time we dealt with issues like the academics we are and aspire to be... Not like the sad culture of politicians in our country where decisions are made to secure positions rather protecting the goodwill of the people. AMANDLA TO YOU academics.

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