Israeli-born pianist abandons performance after protest at Wits

Israeli-born pianist Yossi Reshef was escorted off stage by Wits Campus Control last night as students protested his presence on campus during Israel Apartheid Week.

“This guy coming here is trying to undermine Israel Apartheid week,” SRC vice-president (internal) Tokelo Nhlapo told Wits Vuvuzela.

Members of the Wits Student Representative Council (SRC), Muslim Students Association (MSA), Palestinian Solidarity Committee (PSC) as well as Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA), called for the protest as they did not want the concert to happen during international Israel Apartheid week.

Campus control had initially prevented the group of about 50 protesters from entering the Atrium Hall in the South West Engineering building where the concert was being held.

Students chanted and banged on the doors. The protesters sang songs such as “Dubula ibhunu” a song that was previously under review due to what the AfriForum referred to as “hurtful lyrics”.

Once Campus Control opened the doors students stormed into the hall. They disrupted the performance by jumping on stage as well as blowing their vuvuzelas.

Student activist Mbuyiseni Ndlozi addressed the crowd after they stormed the hall. “Our visitors must understand that we are Wits students in good standing. They must understand that in this university Zionism will not enjoy (sic) anymore. They will not bring anything related, sponsored, corroborating with Israel and will expect it will be romantically accepted.”

Wits Vuvuzela journalists tried to speak to people who had attended the concert however they were unwilling to comment.

Campus Control representatives also refused to comment and directed all enquiries to Wits Communication.

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