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WITS: A University in the Apartheid Era by M Shear

Mervyn Shear tells the story of how the University of the Witwatersrand adapted to the political and social developments in South Africa under apartheid. As the regime adopted increasingly oppressive measures, opposition on the campuses, and in the country, burgeoned into a Mass Democratic Movement intent on making the country ungovernable.

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2 in stock

The National Government moves to introduce segregated education galvanised the staff and students of the four ‘open universities’ to oppose any attempt to interfere with their autonomy and freedom to decide who should be admitted.

In subsequent years, as the regime adopted increasingly oppressive measures to prop up the apartheid state, opposition on the campuses, and in the country, increased and burgeoned into a Mass Democratic Movement intent on making the country ungovernable.

Protest escalated through successive states of emergency and clashes with police on campus became regular events. Residences were raided, student leaders were harassed by security police and many students and some staff were detained for lengthy periods without recourse to the courts.

First published in 1996, WITS: A University in the Apartheid Era by Mervyn Shear tells the story of how the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) adapted to the political and social developments in South Africa under apartheid. This new edition is published in the University’s centenary year with a preface by Firoz Cachalia, one of Wits’ student leaders in the 1980s. It serves as an invaluable historical resource on questions about the relationship between the University and the state, and on understanding the University’s place and identity in a constitutional democracy.