Tuesday, September 27, 2016

South Africa: All Eyes On Wits Following a Worker's Death During #FeesMustFall Protest
By Aaisha Dadi Patel
Daily Maverick

Fasiha Hassan, spokesperson for the SRC at Wits University, says students are deeply saddened by the death of a worker during the ongoing protests against the cost of tuition at the university. On Monday afternoon it emerged that a worker contracted to Wits at the Jubilee Hall of Residence passed away last week, after students released a fire extinguisher in the building.

In a statement, Wits management said the cause of death is still to be determined.

"The worker was rushed to the Campus Health and Wellness Centre and then taken to hospital where the worker was treated for a few days. The worker was discharged from hospital and then passed away," the university's spokesperson Shirona Patel said.

Students protesting across Wits campuses on Monday received news of the death during a march.

"When we received the information we turned the protesting down and had a moment of silence and we committed to meeting with the families and providing whatever support we can," Hassan said.

Asked whether the death of the worker would influence a change in tactics of the student movement at the university, Hassan said students were already reviewing the efficacy of their strategies.

"There's a lot of rethinking already happening. We've spoken about researching the model, redirecting energies in different directions other than what we've been doing now so I think that discussion has already happened," she said.

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