PHUTHADITJHABA. – “The 2015-’16 Student Representative COuncil Elections (SRC) at the Qwaqwa Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) were intellectually challenging.”
This is the view of the President-elect, Paseka Sikhosana, who represented the South African Students’ Congress (SASCO) during the fiercely-contested yet peaceful elections.
“The whole canvassing and election process was thought-provoking as we were truly stretched in explaining our organisations manifestos. The process also created a necessary platform to engage on issues directly affecting the students,” said Sikhosana, a third-year BEd student in Languages and History.
He said unity was displayed by students from all structures and it was most noticeable just after the polling stations had closed.
“We came together and sang together. Our mandate as the new SRC is to transform our campus and the best way to do it is to put the students first in everything we do.
“We shall strive to transform this campus through the promotion of a non-sexist, non-racial and democratic student community. We must all acknowledge and embrace diversity and change,” he said.
Sikhosana also revealed that the 2015-’16 SRC programme of action will mainly be focused on creating a positive student life through improved student services such as financial and academic assistance.
“We will strive to create a positive student life through dialogue, sports, recreation and arts. We will ensure that students are the centre of the SRC. There will be nothing for us and about us.
“The success of this SRC will be based on three pillars – accountability, transparency and advancement of student life,” he added.
Meanwhile, the chairperson of the campus-based electoral committee, Mandla Ndlangamandla, has declared the 2015-’16 SRC elections as free and fair.
“The committee would like to congratulate all the parties that participated in 2015-’16 SRC elections.
Without them the elections would not have been a success. We had over 62% of students voting, compared to last year’s 54%.
“For the 2015-’16 SRC elections, four parties participated. They were the Economic Freedom Fighters – Student Command (EFF-SC), National Student Movement (NASMO), the South African Democratic Student Movement (SADESMO) and the South African Students’ Congress (SASCO). SASCO won six out of seven elective portfolios. SADESMO managed to get one with the EFF-SC and NASMO getting nothing.
“As the electoral committee, we are proud to declare that from the beginning of the election process, no incidents of intimidation, disruption, threats and violence were reported,” he said.
In congratulating the newly-elected SRC, campus principal, Prof. Prakash Naidoo, said that he was pleased with the turn-out percentage. This showed how serious the students were in making sure they elected the right leaders.
“Females constitute the majority of the elected leaders and this augurs well, not only for the campus, but for the entire country.
“Congratulations to the successful candidates and also to those who participa-ted but were not successful,” Naidoo said.
The list of SCR members (elective portfolios):
SASCO 6 Seats. President: Paseka Sikhosane (votes 866)
Secretary general: Nondumiso Langa (votes 871)
Treasurer general: Palesa Selepe (Votes 856)
Student Development and environmental Affairs: Lindokuhle Ngubane (Votes 920)
Media and publicity: Bongiwe Buthelezi (votes 825)
Politics and transformation: Nthabiseng Mokoena (Votes 891)
SADESMO 1 seat. Deputy President: Zethu Mhlongo (votes 847)
EFF-SC and NASMO did not get any seats