Vice-chancellor Adam Habib salary increase

Photo: The University of the Witwatersrand

Adam Habib says n-word clip ‘deliberately misrepresented’

While former Wits Vice Chancellor Professor Adam Habib has apologised for using the n-word, he said his apology was not because he had done anything wrong

Vice-chancellor Adam Habib salary increase

Photo: The University of the Witwatersrand

Former Wits Vice Chancellor Professor Adam Habib has defended his use of the n-word during a virtual meeting with students, saying the clip of the exchange has been manipulated.

In the video, which is doing the rounds on social media, Habib, now the Director of the School of Oriental and African Studies at The University Of London, can be seen being called out by students at the institution, for uttering the n-word.

Habib then said he comes from a part of the world where everyone uses the word. After some backlash from South Africans, he then sought to “clarify” that it was all a misunderstanding.

“I notice some individuals deliberately misrepresented a conversation in a student meeting yesterday. The video is deliberately cropped in a way to misrepresent. Unfortunately many others have rushed to judgement without the full facts,” Habib said on Twitter.

Watch: Students come for Adam Habib after using the n-word

According to Professor Adam Habib, a student had raised a question on how the university intends to addressing anti-black racism. When giving his response, Habib then used the n-word.

“I did use the word (and) said: ‘if someone used the word ‘n*gger’ against another staff member, then it would violate our policy & action would be taken’,” Habib said explaining himself.

He then said that another student objected to him uttering the racial slur, arguing that only those who were black could do so.

“I did say that I am surprised by the reaction because I could have made the same statement in the context of the same argument back home without provoking this reaction. I did not say we use the word in SA. This is a deliberate distortion used for despicable political agendas,” Habib said.

“I then did apologise saying no offense was intended & I again said that if the word was used against another person, it would be a disciplinary offense as it would violate our policies. The question is why is it that after this apology, some are still politicising the issue?”

Habib has questioned why the video was shared in the manner it was, and asked whether the person behind it has an agenda. He has apologised but said it was not because he did anything wrong.

“Why did I apologise?I was not of the view that I did anything wrong. After all I was saying if anyone used the word against another person, action would be taken and I should be duly informed of the case. I apologised because it created discomfort with someone who was engaging me,” he said.