Phumlani Ntshangase’s second-half strike proved the difference on Sunday to take the Students three points clear of Mamelodi Sundowns, whose win over Orlando Pirates on the same day saw them replace Cape Town City in second spot.
Thulani Hlatshwayo had a good chance to put the Students ahead after 14 minutes after rising in the area to meet a free-kick, but he was unable to keep his header on target after putting the ball just wide.
United weren’t without their own chances, though, as Lebohang Maboe produced a lovely turn before having a pop at goal, but he failed to truly test Moeneeb Josephs, who was able to make a comfortable catch.
Mogakolodi Ngele came close for Wits with 20 minutes gone but flicked his header just wide of the mark, while the forward then wasted a glorious opportunity moments later as he somehow blazed over the crossbar with the goalkeeper already beaten.
Ngele continued proving Wits’ best chance for a goal but again came agonisingly close to an opener with 48 minutes gone as his header from Hlatshwayo’s delivery clipped the wrong side of the upright.
The Clever Boys would eventually break the deadlock with 56 minutes gone, Ntshangase with a wonderfully placed header back across goal from a free-kick to bury the ball past the keeper and into the bottom corner of the net.
Kurt Lentjies had a great chance to level the scores with 72 minutes gone after rising well to meet a delivery with Josephs off his line, only to send his header over the crossbar from just six yards out.