By Magnificent Mndebele
A possible ‘default’ of the SRC 29th-30th of March election from both the EFF and DASO branches of the APK campus will result in SASCO inevitably winning. Both political students’ representative bodies have maintained that an inextricable level of corruption is directly linked to the election and is at the core of their motivation for not participating.
Why is EFFSC boycotting the elections?
The EFF APK branch has argued that the nature of corruption is inexorably affecting the election processes. Amongst other elements, the Constitution has no provision for a proportional representational system. In other words, it is a ‘winner takes all situation’, where the party that wins a majority, no matter the number constituting this majority, gets all the seats.
Precisely, the system does not allow for any EFF or DASO member to be an SRC member if SASCO wins the majority votes. For this reason, both parties consider it useless to a large extent for them to contest. “As the EFF, we will not legitimize an illegitimate process, and we as the EFF won’t give legitimacy towards an illegitimate structure at the Rand Universiteit van Johannesburg,” said the chairman of the EFF student council at the APK branch Zwelakhe Mahlamvu.
“Electorate body EMCA not independent”
Another aspect the chairman highlighted was the electorate body facilitating the election: Election Consulting Agency which is commonly known as EMCA (Elections Consulting Agency of Africa) that is not solely independent. Moreover, Mahlamvu emphasized that, “The SRC election, the whole entire process, and the facilitation of the process is very corrupt and it has traces of cryptocracy in the manner that the SRC election facilitator is merely used as a means for [the University’s] management and other cryptocracy members of management to loot more funds . . .” The chairman went on to note the lack of impartiality and independence the facilitator has as an election conductor which makes it more facile for the election to be biased.
DASO Joins “Radical People”
It is very imminent that the Democratic Alliance Student Organisation (DASO) will join the EFFSC by boycotting the 2017 elections. The PR of DASO, Welcome Nkabinde said, “the elections at UJ are not constitutional because the constitution states that the elections must be conducted on a PR system (Proportional Representation), but here at UJ they use a totalism (sic) system which means whoever wins takes all the seats.”At the time of the interview, a letter was yet to be typed and submitted.
The Secretary of DASO, Phumzile Mavimbela said they only took “affirmative action’s today, however, there has been ongoing talks.” Mavimbela said DASO decided to take ‘affirmative action’ because previously there had been negotiations with the management and other relevant stakeholders to implement a PR system, but surprisingly they discovered that the stakeholders said they will only adopt 80 percent of the PR constitutional system. For this reason, it incited DASO to be keen to join ‘radical people.’
“It is apparent that the EFF is boycotting the elections, so if we were to boycott the elections we would form a coalition with the people who are boycotting,” Mavimbela said. “We represent our people and we know what is best for our people. Our people comply with the decisions we make. We cannot confirm yet whether we are for sure going to pull out or not.” But she reaffirmed the pull-out by saying that, “for now there no reason for not pulling out.”
She articulates that the system is not being fair on them because the electoral facilitating company, (EMCA) was founded by a politically affiliated individual, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Mavimbela further alleges that EMCA is the same as IEC as she says most of EMCA’s workers are previous employees of the IEC.
“IEC is ANC, we all know that. They facilitated last year’s elections but the results were rigged. How can elections be rigged while an independent commission is facilitating them? The voters roll and the voter’s turnout did not match last year. Ballot boxes were tampered with, they didn’t match and we didn’t sign for those… but the results were accepted by the institution, so how is that democratic?” asks Mavimbela.
The Open Journal understands that DASO lodged their complaint and they were told for the PR system to be fully amended at least three parties must reach a consensus. Two parties have already agreed but “there is one person who holds managerial power who is problematic,” said Mavimbela who was not inclined in revealing the person who is said to be “problematic” because it was discussed in a closed-meeting.
SASCO sees no flaw with the system
The chairman of the accused SASCO at APK, Sabelo Mpangani said, “the opposition will always make sure to tell people things that will defy us because they know that we have been in power for 15 years. If we were not in power this campus would have been run by either EFF or DASO but our people when they go to the ballot paper they make the right choice by voting for us.”
“Even from January, we were here to make sure that we serve our students by ensuring our students get accommodation, fees and today we were at the student finance to try to manage the situation whereby more than 235 students were nearly kicked out of their accommodations. Where was DASO, where was EFF?” adds Mpangani.
SASCO is not against the currently contested system of rule which says a party that wins will assume complete power. To put that into perspective, if SASCO gets 702 votes and an opposition gets 700 votes, SASCO will automatically qualify and assume power and all the seats.
“That is a very key strategy because the SRC cannot be governed by two different organisations. [One institution must govern it] so that we work along, we meet our goals as an organisation. If it’s two different organisations we won’t have the same opinions and views, that is why the SRC will be fighting each other,” said Mpangani.