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South African Universities Face Growing Demands to Cut Ties with Israel

South African universities are under increasing pressure from students and government officials to divest from Israel-linked companies and support the Palestinian cause. Despite mass protests, such as the pro-Palestine encampment at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), universities have resisted full academic boycotts. Wits University condemned Israel’s actions in Gaza but has not disclosed its ties with Israeli institutions or cut ties with them. Similarly, the University of Cape Town (UCT) has yet to take a decisive stance. Government officials, including Deputy Higher Education Minister Buti Manamela, have urged universities to follow the example set by institutions that boycotted apartheid South Africa. The protests are part of a broader movement inspired by similar actions worldwide, demanding transparency and solidarity with Palestine.