The University of Johannesburg soccer team managed to snatch a narrow win against all odds during their Johannesburg SAB league match against Bidvest Wits on Saturday the 20th of May.
The encounter witnessed a Wits team that outplayed the UJ boys in areas like maintaining ball possession. “It’s a very strong team and they are a very good footballing side,” said Mandla Zwane the UJ coach while acknowledging that UJ was outplayed by Bidvest Wits.
However, Bidvest Wits failed to execute clinical finishing in their attempts for goals which were defensively repelled by the UJ boys. “We tried to break them (UJ team) down many times but we failed,” said Phuphu Mohlaba one of the Bidvest Wits coaches.
On explaining the defensive tactics of UJ, Zwane said that “the best way was to wait for them (Bidvest Wits) to come and open up spaces then we play on a counterattack.”
With Wits squandering most of their chances during the 1st half, which they would later regret, a more composed UJ side slowly got into the game executing a flowing attack that almost altered the score sheet on the 40th minute. However, the chance went begging wide.
The momentum of both teams gradually picked as the 2nd half unravelled. A more confident UJ side stepped up to the challenge as it created some stale mate breaking chances during the early stages of the 2nd half. The UJ’s strike on the 56th minute that went slightly above the cross bar gave warning signs to Bidvest Wits that had cooled down a bit.
Moreover, both teams were getting crucial opportunities that failed to alter the score sheet. Wits nearly had the opportunity to draw first blood 16 minutes into the 2nd half, with a powerful shot on target that was saved by a vigilant UJ goalkeeper.
It took the UJ team 68 minutes to get an unmissable chance where they almost scored a goal that sent the crowd into massive cheers, however the ball hit a cross bar.
The UJ side slowly picked up momentum and eventually broke the stale mate with a 79th minute counter attack that caught the Wits side off-guard. The goal scorer for UJ, Sbongeleni Gamede took the chance in clinical fashion.
Although the UJ boys were being dominated during some parts of the game it was clear that the home advantage gave them some fighting spirit. “We showed character and we knew that Wits is a good team,” said Gamede.
As the Johannesburg S.A.B league draws to an end, U.J will play against Stheo FC in their last away match next week on the 27th of May. Above all, a win will contribute to their prospects of finishing in the top 5.
The University of Johannesburg Zimbabwean students’ society (Zimsoc) elected a new leadership team on Friday the 19th of May with a mission to strengthen and unify the society.
This occurred after an outline of the various achievements of the past year and several failures as illuminated by the outgoing administration.
Some of the achievements included the founding of a UJ Zim-centric magazine, UJ Zim, and the various partnerships created with other Zimbabwean societies from several universities around Johannesburg such as the University of Witwatersrand and Monash University.
The society, however, clarified that one of its major failures was not winning the International Festival of 2016 as a sense of collective approach in seeing and acting upon opportunities.
“Our aim last year was to be the best but the circumstances did not allow us to get what we want,” said Knowledge Chindoko, an outgoing President.
Another failure highlighted was the lack of support from some of the members as some were not able to pay their membership fees.
On the other hand, the newly elected members of the leadership team included President Anoziva Gumbie, Chairperson Floyd Mudzvova and Secretary Tatenda Jimere.
President Gumbie emphatically pointed out the lack of unity amongst some Zimbabweans within the University of Johannesburg (UJ) community.
“I feel as if we need to integrate the Zimbabweans students not only at UJ but all over South Africa,” he said.
Furthermore, it was also noted that unity within the Zim society can develop an opportunity for networking. This can assist some students in getting opportunities and a “know how” in relevant significant areas such as studies and the workplace, prior to or after completing their studies, Gumbie added.
He also suggested that he will do everything in his power to establish a network that will assist Zim students in utilizing some of the opportunities that may be available.
“I would like to approach all the other committees around South Africa and encourage interaction,” said Gumbie.
A doubtful reaction emanated from some of the members in Zimsoc.
“I guess it’s going to be hard for them because the past presidents have failed in some way to put Zimsoc on a higher level,” said a member of the society who does not wish to be identified.
While the unequivocal voice for unity and interaction generated a sonic presence, Gumbie also urged fellow Zimbabwean students to be patriotic. “It is fine to be proud, it is fine to boast about where you are from,” he said.
With unity and patriotism being the ethos of the Zimsoc conversation, new chairperson Floyd Mudzvova shared some of his thoughts. “One element that defines us all as one family is the zimbo in us,” he said.
Chairperson Mudzvova challenged all Zimbabwean students across South Africa to join the patriotic student body. “The vision is to, in the long run, improve the engagement of Zimbabwean students across South Africa in societal events that affect us,” he added.
However, the leadership team faces a tremendous task in executing their envisioned goals.
“Most definitely it will be hard but once we are able to acknowledge that we have something to be proud of we will need to support each other,” Gumbie said.
In addition to unity and patriotism, the notion of rediscovering identity was one of the major concerns. “We have lost [the] essence of who we are and remembering where we come from,” Gumbie said.
As such, this sent a message to fellow Zimbabwean students to be proud of their identity and to add value to the rich multi-ethnic community of the University of Johannesburg and South Africa as a whole.
The Director of Finance at the University of Johannesburg, Mzwakhe Matukane, promises to urgently aid NSFAS students after the APK-SRC members approached him to address concerns of students which some trepidations include possible evictions from residences.
“What we did during registration is that for the list of students that NSFAS confirmed that are funded we sent it to private accommodations to say these are the students that are funded by NSFAS, can you assist?”
“The very same students even though they did not sign contracts were given book allowances by UJ. And the arrangement was that as soon as the students sign contracts then we would be able to assist in terms of paying for accommodations allowance,” said Matukane.
The Student Representative Council at Auckland Park Kingsway Campus today in the morning, accompanied by a minority of students went to deliver ten concerns of the students.
The concerns that were delivered that are related to NSFAS include possible eviction of students from accommodations, signing of contracts, NSFAS-funded students’ final-year meal allowance, appeal results, some students that were funded last year by NSFAS this year have not yet been funded and Postgraduate students who applied for funding have not yet been replied.
“To resolve an issue in a more structured way… if we get the student numbers we would be able to…understand which students are at a higher risk at the moment,” said Matukane.
“Now the risk on UJ side is that if the students who have not signed the loan agreement forms are given the allowances it means that UJ must take the money and pay private accommodations when NSFAS have not confirmed,” he adds.
But the Postgraduate students cannot be assured of anything because NSFAS has not yet given anyone a feedback and therefore UJ cannot urge residences to keep Postgraduate students because if they stay longer, the more they will be liable to debts should they be not funded at all.
However, Matukane also raised some deceitful methods that students who have never applied at all for NSFAS use SMSs lying to private accommodations that they are funded by NSFAS, as a result this double their workload and leads to more derailment to finalise the finances of students.
“Another thing we have picked up is that NSFAS has sent SMSs to students saying you have been funded, for some reasons, that SMS has been replicated to other students who never applied for NSFAS and the same students have used the SMS to get a private accommodation.”
“And when [those accommodations] send us the list and [we discover that some students have not applied at all] it makes our job very difficult because now you are dealing with fraudulent cases, you are dealing with legitimate cases as well,” said Matukane.
Also, “the students who have applied for NSFAS and have not received the outcome from NSFAS to us it means they are not funded and the reason is that they are still evaluating your applications or there is a chance that you will not be funded in 2017,” Matukane added.
Students who are currently doing their final year of study Makutane reassured that most of the issues will be resolved by next week and they will get the meal allowance including the months that have passed. But those who did their final year of study in 2016 and had to repeat certain modules this year won’t be given meal allowance.
There are about 240 students whose tuition fees have not been paid by NSFAS in 2016, and UJ is struggling with that now because NSFAS is unable to confirm that these students are funded in 2017.
“Remember NSFAS in 2016 funded students and they did not have to apply for 2017, so NSFAS said ‘we will transfer you into 2017 on condition that we have paid for you in 2016’ so if they have not paid, it means they cannot confirm 2017 funding, that is the case but hence I am saying these are internal issues that we are engaging with NSFAS that the students are affected,” articulated Matukane.
Since from the beginning of signing Loan Agreement Forms (LAFs) until to the 18th of May, there are 13 953 LAFs created by NSFAS and signed, 2 295 LAFs that were created but have not yet been signed, so in total there are 16 212 LAFs that have been created on NSFAS.
On Conduit funding – which includes DSD, Funza and Thuthuka bursaries – there are 182 LAFs created but have not yet been signed and 352 were created and signed.
Cases of registration data on students sent to NSFAS and no loan agreements created in total including NSFAS-funded and Conduit funding are 1 997.
The UJ-APK SRC and the Director of Student Finance concluded that the students should send their student numbers and their queries to the SRC, next week Monday the latest, SRC will send the student numbers to the Director and the Director is likely next week to go to Cape Town’s NSFAS offices for a meeting to discuss the issues.
When the SRC went to deliver the outcries, it is not only NSFAS students who are affected, but also students who are doing Social Work that are funded by the Department of Social Development (DSD). They complained that DSD decided to cut their stipends by 75% without providing a ground and solid explanation.
The Open Journal has obtained an email where the students addressed the issue to DSD but an individual named as Vuyelwa Mngadi who is said to be a Manager at DSD, replied to the email by saying “please inform all [your] fellow student[s] that with effect from 2017, the stipend was reduced, all the big monies you planned on getting will not be paid,” reads the email.
“I don’t owe students any explanation; if a decision is taken at the meeting with the committee, we send the message to universities and they implement. This is DSD’s decision for your record, so I have no explanation to do to anyone.”
“Refrain sending me mail because I have other things to do than explain myself to anyone,” further reads the email sent by Vuyelwa Mngadi to the students who needed to know why their allowance was cut from R 11 200 per annum to R2 800.
The Open Journal will investigate the concerns of DSD students in a more detailed manner to thoroughly understand what has caused such cut as some of the students funded by DSD strongly believe that malice and corruption are involved.
The Social Workers’ students say they are required to travel to far places and should use the very same stipend that has been reduced by 75% to buy formal attire because they are obligated to wear in a formal manner when going to the agencies.
They further uttered that “every month we have to complain to DSD to give us the money. Every month we should toitoi to get our money.”
He was a pain in the ass. In other words, he was as bad as hell and so were his friends – naughty young fellows. They partied and drank alcohol over and over again, but his unquenchable thirst kept on creating an emptiness inside of him which sought to be filled up with a vision and focus of being a selfless individual – a young philanthropist who currently performs wonders and then wonders upon wonders.
Samuel Oken, a 25-year-old who is currently a third-year UJ student, was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), more specifically in Lubumbashi. He has made his life an eternal river: a source of hope and strength for the less privileged of Africa’s future – the youth.
He is a person characterised by generosity, love, care, ambition, focus and humility but these qualities would not have been part of him without Claudette Katamba, his mother.
Blessed To Be A Blesser
Oken’s down-to-earth attitude and humility are the fundamental humanitarian values which made him establish a non-profit organisation in December 2015, called The Oken Samuel Foundation. This is a foundation that is aimed at alleviating poverty while seeking to make education accessible to every child on the African continent.
“It’s purely a charity-work [organisation], helping people by making sure that they live a better life and [ensuring] that at least kids have three meals per day, like what I am doing in Congo,” said Oken cautiously. “When God blesses you, He blesses you to bless other people. When God gives you something, it is not only for you.”
He says his vision of The Oken Samuel Foundation was also impacted by his religious stance, Christianity.
The broader perspective is for the organisation to provide aid not only in South Africa, instead Oken hopes for the foundation to spread its wicks and provide shelter to other citizens of the African continent.
This is why the young benefactor prefers to term it as a Pan-African organisation which receives its vitality from the passion of those leading it, who do so not for money neither fame. “The way my foundation is, I am neither doing it for the money nor publicity, [and] it is the passion that drives me.”
An Impactful Life Bears Wonderful Fruits
When Oken decided to quit his bustling, youthful life of drinking and partying he had never thought of how impactful his decision would be to the friends who said it was only a sojourn, he will be back to the old life.
Some later on “called me, saying that they have changed and are reading the Bible,” Oken says. “To be honest with you, a lot of people in Congo have also started non-profit organisations because of my organisation.”
As much as his life has become an inspiration to his mates, “what keeps me going is when I see the children we help smiling. It touches my heart because people always remember how you make them feel,” he says with a smile that symbolises that his thoughts are in an imaginative mode, reminiscing smiles of the children his organisation seeks to aid.
Last year October and December, The Oken Samuel Foundation went to help the children in Orlando, Soweto. But what touched him in spirit is that “those kids could pray Our Father who art in Heaven…that really touched me because at least they know that God cares about them,” articulates Oken. “That even touched my mother because I went with her to the kids.”
A Road To Success Is Rocky And Thorny
Oken reasonably does wonders after wonders then wonders after wonders, but the most difficult thing he had ever faced was raising funds “because people always think you want their money [for personal benefits]. And one of the main challenges was to build [the] trust of people.”
One has to be convincing for those whom he seeks financial assistance from to be considerate. He says that at times an individual needs to exhort them by even ensuring them that he is a transparent person and a Christian. Lack of trust is the source of such complication.
Nonetheless, the humanitarian illuminated that one has to be active on social media and maintain a level of trustworthiness based on consistency that will eventually earn the positive thoughts of others towards what he does. “People must see where the money goes… because when it comes to money, people have real trust issues.”
He says sometimes when he experiences hurdles such as getting transportation so that the children could get help it makes things worse for him and he feels like giving up, “but with the help of God anything is possible, with faith anything is possible.”
Greediness Of People Cripples The World
Oken has learned to be selfless and made his life a living sacrifice for God “by living a life that would bring change to the world.” However, there is one thing that detonates his heart into unrepairable pieces, “it is the greediness of people. There is enough money in the world to feed everyone,” he says while manifesting his heart-break by some of the “terrible” things he has seen in Congo.
He wants The Oken Samuel Foundation to continue with the spirit of Pan-Africanism, the spirit of uniting Africa. “I love my country, I’ve always wanted to do something. With my Foundation, I can do a lot of things in Congo. I am planning to go back to inspire young people to become better leaders than our actual leaders,” he optimistically says.
Currently, The Oken Samuel Foundation is doing some charity work in South Africa, Congo and endeavours to expand to Angola, Gabon and other African countries. But how could that be possible because greediness cripples the world and if one is reluctant to impact the youth of the continent by supporting his organisation.
“You are blessed to be a blessing because at the end of the day it is not about you. You are blessed to be a blessing to others”
“I really want to impact people, bring change to the world and leave a legacy so when I die people would remember what I am doing,” this is one of the key reasons Oken do what he does.
When asked to define himself in a single word, the young philanthropist said he is a “focused” person who focuses on things that matter the most of which education is a part of.
DISCLAIMER: This content is sponsored by The Samuel Oken Foundation, the fundamental aim is to highlight the blocks it has built on pursuit to build the continent for better, to unite us as African people to come together with Ubuntu to collectively shape the future of the continent.
The University of Johannesburg Student Finance Department hosted one of its annual Campus Activation Campaigns on Friday 12th of May 2017 from 08:30 to 15:30 at Soweto Campus.
The campaign’s objective was to raise awareness about the possible ways that can assist students to be able to settle their 2017 fees as some students are still working to meet their end of April dateline.
“We are just making the students aware and provide them with assistance to aid them to settle their fees,” said Melton Markgraaff, a financial officer at APK.
A number of financial institutions were present at the campaign in order to offer financial funding options for students to choose from, which ranged from loans to bursaries.
“Most of the students are on self-funding, very few students are on bursaries. Which is why we are trying to get external sponsors to fund students,” Markgraaff said.
In terms of the banks, ABSA and FNB were present to propagate information concerning their products.
ReadytoWork is a division of ABSA with an ABSA program trying to acquaint students with the working environment and equip them with work, people and entrepreneurial skills.
The program has an online course free of charge through which all of these skills can be acquired and at the end, one is given a credited certificate for employment.
“The certificate is equivalent to a matric certificate and is going to help you when you are applying for a job and a learnership,” said Mawethu Tisane, a senior facilitator from ABSA.
FNB student account offers low bank charges, transparency when it comes to one’s transactions, a monthly maintenance/account fees of R4.95, all of which the FNB sales consultant mentioned is helpful to save money.
“One thing we are trying to do is save you money. That’s why we advise students to get cash from PnP, Shoprite . . . cheaper and easier. Use digital platforms like online banking . . . it’s quick and easy,” the FNB consultant added.
“So in that regard, I think that’s where we come in terms of assisting students when it comes to their finances, how we can make life easy for them financially.” emphasized the consultant.
Students’ attitude towards the campaign was that of hope as to having some sort of financial sponsor which will eventually aid to pay their fees.
“So obviously, us coming here and getting all the information that we didn’t know about from the start is useful because now you know that there are companies going to UJ looking to give students bursaries,” Malebo Moloto a third-year BCom General student.
This Friday, the 12th of May 2017, had caught the cleaners of the University of Johannesburg (UJ) with a darling, rare surprise — a historic surprise. After working for half a day, a spa foot massage and new shoes were waiting for them, for being mothers.
“This comes from our genuine hearts,” says Noxolo Miya, a Community Development Officer for the EFFSC at UJ-APK, whose mother lives in Kwa-Zulu Natal. She, therefore, wanted to do something special for a person who is a mother since Sunday (14th of May 2017) would be Mothers’ Day.
“I [asked myself] what I am going to do on this special good day because usually, I would be doing something for her [Miya’s mother], so I decided that let me pamper someone’s mother. And then a few minutes later I was thinking that we always say we are in solidarity with the female workers at UJ, so let’s do something for them. Let’s give them foot Spa massage,” says Miya.
Miya consulted her party, and the chairman of EFFSC, Zwelakhe Mahlamvu, was excited about this initiative and they began donating money amongst themselves to buy the necessary prerequisites.
Miya and her political party did not want to put the workers in a dilemma; therefore, the hygienic workers were requested to attend the event during their lunchtime to get a complimentary card, mug with sweets, shoes and a Spa foot massage because “most of the time they are standing”.
This event charmed the workers to a culmination point of having to reminisce the bygones memories of their teenage-hood.
“They appreciated it with so much love. As I was washing one of them, she said this had been done to her when she was a teenager, when being charmed by her boyfriend. They were so excited: you could see the excitement on their face,” Miya says. “We would love to do this every year . . . the message we wanted to send is that we love them, we appreciate them, we appreciate the work they do.”
Meanwhile, an awe and jubilation caught the cleaners, they began to sing appreciation songs, thinking, and showing their content for what the EFFSC has done for them.
“They bathed our feet and we even said, ‘oh yea, truly, giving birth has indeed sweet fruits.’ We are so happy and we are very thankful. What really excited me was the fact of being bathed my feet smoothly and with tenderness,” says Grace Sello, a 55-year-old UJ cleaner.
The discussion about Progressive black academics which was held on the 9th of May 2017 at the UJ-SWC was largely filled with a somewhat somber atmosphere. It sought to challenge the structures of the universities and how “universities are meant to create assimilation for students”.
“If there is one thing that the Apartheid government or white people, in general, will never let go of it is the intelligentsia. They kept the universities, they are refusing with the universities,” said former Wits SRC president, Mcebo Dlamini.
“When you say you need more black professors they say you are going to collapse the standard. Whose standards are they talking about? Whose standards are going to be collapsed?” asked Dlamini while addressing the audience on the discussion of advancing black academics.
The sourness and somber atmosphere of students’ representatives who categorically attempted to sabotage the discussion could not have gone without being noticed by Dlamini.
“It does not start here in these structures but from the mother body, where even when you invite senior committees to partake in the program the only thing they worry about is numbers,” says Dlamini.
“I normally say to my comrades, even if we are two we must deliberate…what matters [the] most is the conviction and the commitment,” said the former Witwatersrand SRC President, Dlamini.
The YCLSA took the initiative to move around higher institutions in various provinces with the aim of engaging students in debates and encouraging them to be ‘progressive’ while advancing National Democratic Revolution (NDR), a building block for socialism.Mcebo found himself conflicted with the boots he initially wanted to fit into, regarding the black progressive academia in pursuing the interests of the NDR which is being organized by the Young Communist League (YCL).
The former Wits SRC leader was troubled to hear non-racialism as an ideology because to him, “black is black and white is white.”
Dlamini highlighted that it is in gatherings like these where students need to challenge the positions that they find themselves in and reach the core surface of these ideologies instead of being broad.
Mcebo continued to question the procedure the YCL sought to take, of how it would balance race and class. “Will it ignore the issue of race today and talk about class if we are to advance the NDR that says there is non-racialism… the document says it does not want to see black people marginalized and oppressed, of which they are even today,” said Dlamini.
The YCLSA National Secretary, Mluleki Dlelanga took to the podium to share that the program will be moving to institutions of higher learning, engaging students on what is meant by progressive black academics.
“Have you taken the time to understand who controls the entry and exit of education,” asked Dlelanga. “I am not racist; my organization is also fighting for non-racialism. But zooming closely on the administration…who controls the entry and exit in education…our human resources at all universities and colleges are managed by white people…”
Dlelanga thus continued to highlight some of the factors that contribute to high fee-paying in institutions. Amongst other factors, it is that the content consumed and taught in universities is imported to South Africa and that “all instruments used have been paid [for] and come at a heavy price.”
Dlelanga strongly condemned churches by saying that the “church is the power struggle…they abuse our people strongly.” Little did he know that he would be strongly opposed as it did not sit well with some members of the audience.
“When I joined YCL I was a full Christian, but when I came to YCL I was told that they don’t even recognize the issue of the church, the issue of Jesus. Till today I find it contradictory because… one of the opposing factors that we share commonality with the church is we are against the abuse of alcohol and other substances that are endangering our society.”
“I have a problem with the issue of YCL and the church. The challenge is that we are rubbishing the issue of the church without looking at the positive factors that are brought by the church into the society…If we take the church out of the society as the Communist Party then we will leave a vacuum and I wonder if we would be able to fill the gap,” added an attendee of the discussion.
UJ-SWC students showed discontent towards Dlamini’s comments during the FeesMustFall protests about how he sold out the students’ movement for failure to actively participate due to heavy securitization and the expulsion of students’ activists by UJ.
“You should not cut a tree that you will need in the future. You should not poop on a shadow you will need in the future. We did not like it Mcebo when you showed off in front of cameras saying that UJ comrades did not participate in the FeesMustFall…we cannot be patriotic Mcebo, if when you see the media you bad-mouth UJ comrades,” an attendee challenged Dlamini.
Forex trading is a channel to success for blacks, said Vumile Giovanni a postgraduate student at UJ on Saturday May 6th during a Forex trading seminar.
“What can change the life of a black child is forex,” Giovanni told traders and potential traders at the University of Johannesburg Soweto Campus (UJSWC) before clarifying the importance of formal education.
Giovanni is the founder of Vumile MJ Investments which was founded in February 2017 as a source of empowerment to impart knowledge about the forex trading market to students and in particular black students.
About 70 people attended the free seminar hosted by Vumile MJ Investment which forms part of a monthly seminar series for the course of the year.
Giovanni further highlighted the advantages of Forex trading, the appropriate time to trade and the strategies of trading.
When talking about the advantages, he emphasised that the income one generates from Forex trading is not subject to any charges except for low transaction fees.
Regarding time, he stressed that there is a fifteen minute time frame for trading and that traders should be aware of the operational time of the country they desire to ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ currency from.
Concerning the strategies, a fundamental approach which is based on the analysis of the political and economic happenings of the day and the candle sticks, he said will do.
The audience’s reaction was that of a willingness to learn more about forex trading from Vumile.
Kagiso Motaung, a post-graduate student at UJ, ranked the seminar as one of the best. “I’m gonna buy the book and next week since they have a class, I’m definitely coming,” Motaung said.
Xolani Mthumba, a first year student at UJ, acknowledged that the seminar made him acquire knowledge which he did not have before. “I also think that I’ll gain more next week when I come for the class because this was just a seminar,” said Mthumba.
Pritchard Sibanda is a young man who believes in his ability to create a lasting legacy. His drive and ambition are what propels him to build a people-friendly entrepreneurship brand that will help you with your business.
He is a motivated undergraduate student at the University of Johannesburg whose end goal is “to have more than 7 businesses” says Sibanda.
Currently, Sibanda has two companies, namely RGW ( Reviving Greatness Within) which focuses on business coaching and mentorship, secondly, he has an apparel company called Afripreneur, that focuses on creating awareness around the idea of African Entrepreneurship being “the key to unlocking African Wealth” says Sibanda.
To find out more about Pritchard Sibanda and how you can ask for help watch the clip of his interview with Street Expression.
The Open Journal’s Investigative Unit infiltrated UJ’s Central Student Representative Council and APK’s SASCO, and has come across information that SASCO is on the brink of a Cold War with its affiliates due to the looming tension that they desperately tried to hide from the public.
“SASCO is bleeding and it’s becoming weaker and weaker because of people who are power-mongers within the organisation, [people] who are willing to compromise everything including the students themselves that they claim to represent,” says Ratele Refiloe, an ANC Youth League convener.
Quotes to digest…
“SASCO is bleeding and it’s becoming weaker and weaker…”
“SASCO is siding with the management of the university for the sake of having power”
“Everything that EMCA did was incorrect… EMCA did not read the UJ Constitution…”
SASCO’s leaders and its affiliates have tried at least three times to gain positions for its representatives to fill certain portfolios but this was done in vain due to its Cold War that is likely to intensify.
“It does worry me because at the end of the day we are all divided [and] the next thing people are going to be contesting each other when they all know that SASCO is the student organisation, even the MDM tells us that SASCO is the only one that needs to contest,” says the Secretary of UJ-APK SASCO Branch, Palesa Molefe.
Currently, UJ does not have united campus members or a stable Central-SRC because of the on-going disputes.
Head to head: Betrayals of Forces
The Open Journal’s Investigative Unit understands that SASCO is the only recognised body that represents the students at UJ. However, SASCO’s affiliates within the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA), namely: Young Communist League and ANC Youth League have entered into an agreement of sharing positions within the SRC.
The agreement states that SASCO and its affiliates should equally share positions based on the so-called Four-Four Masihlalisane. Each party must have four members representing them in the SRC. However, the other affiliates strongly accused SASCO members of betraying and compromising the agreement.
“SASCO is siding with the management of the university for the sake of having power”
“The PYA had a resolution before elections about how we are going to work. So, the arrangement went down to positions as who’s going to get what, and we’ve agreed. When that had to happen SASCO comes and says they did not know of the agreement and they will do things their own way,” says the ANC Youth League Convener, Ratele Refiloe.
The secretary of UJ-APK SASCO Branch, Palesa Molefe denies that SASCO may be violating the Four-Four Masihlalisane agreement and abusing its power due to it being the only recognised student movement by the institution.
“I don’t think it’s an abuse of power. You must understand that within the Alliance there is no set Constitution, so whatever decisions are there do not specifically bind SASCO,” she says.
The heavily criticized EMCA accused of being unconstitutionally
When the Secretary of UJ-APK SASCO Branch, Palesa Molefe was asked about the Four-Four Masihlalisa agreement she said: “No Comment.” Molefe is the one who unleashed a dispute on the first constituting of positions and Molefe is amongst those who are accused of wanting to grip power.
Molefe says she unleashed a dispute by sending an email averting the constituting because there was an agreement that the constituting should have started at 2.p.m on the 18th of April 2017 but EMCA subsequently changed the time-slot of constituting to 11 a.m.
“Everything that [the] EMCA did was incorrect… EMCA did not read the UJ Constitution when it came to such things. You can’t be sending the wrong communique to a branch secretary. I do not think they liaised with Student Affairs about the list [of members who are elected to occupy the various positions],” says Molefe while explaining her unhappiness about EMCA.
EMCA’s Project Manager, Parmalat Ukatu said: “What I know is that EMCA followed all the correct procedures to get the job done.”
UJ’s Student Affairs may be abusing its power on student politics
After the initial dispute which Molefe confirmed to have requested the first constituting which unfolded on the 18th of April to be pre-empted because of time confusion. Again, on the 20thof April 2017, there was another constituting but other newly elected SRC members accused Student Affairs to be directly dictating the processes meanwhile it should be playing an observer role.
Quotes to digest…
“SRC is being held at ransom and it is prejudicing the interests of the students who voted us into office”
“…for him to be there as a President he was a spy for the VC (Vice Chancellor)”
“…please don’t ask me how I was an SRC [for] more than 2terms while you know I am an African child.”
On the second constituting only two members attended there to sign yet Section 11.1.1 of the SRC Constitution states that at least seven people should be there before it meets its constitutional merits. Therefore, the department of Student Affairs “legitimised this inconsistent and illegitimate process.”
“This is foul play as the department of Student Affairs is directly involved in the politics of the Progressive Youth Alliance and thus further creating a conflict of interest,” reads an email which The Open Journal’s Investigative Unit obtained that was sent to the Prof Ihron Rensburg.
“… SRC is being held at ransom and it is prejudicing the interests of the students who voted us into office,” the email further reads.
The third reconstituting which was scheduled to take place on the 25th of April did not take place either as it is said that the Department of Student Affairs said there is a new constitution which therefore endorses SASCO to independently elect its SRC members without considering the PYA Four-Four Masihlalisane.
However, many SRC members are not aware of the so-called new constitution that the Department of Student Affairs is said to have introduced.
“… this is the struggle of the Constitutions between the one that we know and the one that is being enforced,” comments a Central SRC member, Takalane Mutsharini while explaining the misunderstanding created by the so-called new constitution.
EMCA’s Project Manager also confirmed that EMCA did not receive any new SRC Constitution.
The legit Constitution was adopted on the 18th of September 2014, and for an amendment or a clause within the Constitution UJ Parliament must sit in, but that has never happened which strongly suggests that the so-called new Constitution could be fabricated.
“SRC is being held at ransom and it is prejudicing the interests of the students who voted us into office”
Hasan and the Student Affairs are accused of gambling the student politics
The heavily disputed so-called new Constitution which has caused SASCO and its affiliates to face the brink of simmering tensions, the Chairperson of SASCO at UJ-APK, Sabelo Mpangani states that the former President of SRC Hasan Abdulaahi Maalin which The Open Journal’s Investigative Unit understands to have been appointed by the management (Student Affairs) to be the president, is alleged to be the one who signed the new clauses of the Constitution.
“The person who knows everything about the clauses is the former President Hasan Abdullahi Maalin… that man is the one who caused all of this and that man is playing other dirty politics…,” says APK-SASCO chairman, Mpangani.
“That man is always with the management and we must remember that man was not elected to be the president. His appointment you can was a sell-out… for him to be there as a President he was a spy for the VC (Vice Chancellor),” adds Mpangani.
Hasan’s Facebook photograph which he posted on the 16th of April 2017 with some Student Affairs representatives is accompanied with a description that says “…I enjoyed working with you despite the challenges. But one thing they will remember is my meetings chairing or presiding….and pls don’t ask me how I was an SRC more than 2terms while you know I am an African child.”
Hasan Abdullahi Maalin’s mobile phone was off when contacted and he could not be reached when going for publication of the story.