Arguably the most traumatic academic year in the history of higher education in this country is drawing to a close, with students around the country – how many, at this stage is uncertain - preparing to sit their exams. I wish all our Jewish students, as well as all other students who will be writing under less than ideal circumstances, success.
The SA Union of Jewish Students – SAUJS – performs a crucial role in representing the Jewish student body on key university campuses and wherever necessary working with the respective administrations and the SAJBD in addressing problems that arise. I congratulate incoming SAUJS national chairman Gabi Zollman and his committee on their recent election and look forward to working with them in the coming year. I further congratulate and thank immediate past SAUJS chairperson Dani Hovsha for all her outstanding work, including the valuable input she has made at SAJBD Gauteng Council and National Executive Committee meetings.
In addition to broader safety and security challenges, one of the major concerns we have had, has been the potential for the racially-charged rhetoric of the FeesMustFall movement spilling over into overt antisemitism. To an extent, this has occurred on occasion, most recently with the plastering of antisemitic graffiti at Wits earlier this week. We have been in communication with the Wits administration to ensure that the graffiti was removed and steps taken to find the perpetrators and prosecute them. In a press statement, we condemned the racist invective that had often surfaced during the FeesMustFall protests and urged that legitimate causes such as this one not be sullied by hateful rhetoric against other South Africans.