#FREEDOMDAY: VOTING IS NOT WHAT IT WAS 23 YEARS AGO

By Xiletelo Mabasa

The 27th of April 1994 is a day that your history teacher in school would never let you forget. As discussed in the first part of this series the day we now know as freedom day was met with a lot of promise.

It was an explosion of happiness and excitement bringing about feelings that have now turned sour. We spoke to four UJ academics who reflected on the how much has changed and remained the same in the past two decades.

Prof Jane Duncan, Journalism Lecturer

 JANE DUNCAN

“It’s been very different on subsequent voting days because I don’t think that voting has been nearly as popular as it was at that stage. I think it’s lost that kind of communal feeling and that sense of excitement that existed in ’94. And of course, for many people, it was the first time that they were voting so there was also that novelty aspect to it as well.

Apparently, scepticism is nothing new for South Africans. “Many people at that stage were also quite weary about what the transition meant. Not everyone was starry-eyed.”

Duncan explained how voters were critical of the outcome of the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) negotiations. “We had a transition that got rid of formal apartheid although there was the government left social relations intact in the country. I think we still live the legacy of that compromise now.”

 South Africans cannot wait for someone else to do things for them we need to roll up our sleeves.

  Thea de Wet, Director of Centre for Academic Technologies (CAT)

 Thea de Wet

“I think we live in a very negative atmosphere which is very unnecessary. If you look at world history and the history of countries all countries go through these cycles. We’re not the only country with a president that’s problematic if you look around the world there are many of them.”

“South Africans are a bunch of moaners,” she said. “We always want someone else to fix the problem. I’m not saying people shouldn’t protest, I’m not against protests. But I think now you burn down the school, you steal from people while you loot you think you’ve actually done a wonderful thing but it’s not going to make a big difference. So what about just rolling up your sleeves and doing something as a community.”

de Wet said that although we cannot change the national situation so easily we could always foster change in our own communities.  She referred to an environmental initiative in her own community. Two weeks ago “around my area, we had a cleaning up operation. You put gloves on and you just clean,” she said.

Thea believes in the power of the youth. “I’m a very optimistic person. I see a good future. The Zuma government will come to an end soon, younger people will take over. Younger people with a different vision for the country, with less baggage and hopefully less greed. Look at the university it’s full of very smart young people.”

de Wet also emphasised the importance of healthy criticism coming from academics. “Academic freedom is very important. It’s important to speak your mind and not land in jail like people in Turkey.”

South Africa is simply following a pattern that exists in post-colonial African societies.

Prof Dumisani Moyo, HOD of Journalism, Film and Television

 DUMISNI MOYO

“It’s like [that] in every other African country, you find that a few years down the line people start questioning whether the Euphoria of independence was well-placed or it was miss-placed euphoria. You see that among the promises of ’94 were these big issues around equality, around economic redistribution, around empowerment of black people that have been formally oppressed.

Then you fast-track to today, then you understand the frustration that you start seeing across the country in service delivery and other things, where you find that the liberation movement has fallen far short of what it had promised. And you start seeing some of those very typical accesses that you have seen in other African countries, post-independence, where you start seeing images of amassing wealth, and intolerance in terms of clamping down on people’s freedoms. Not so much here in South Africa in terms of those things, but I think the general feeling that the leadership has abandoned its moral compass.

“Where looting becomes one characteristic feature of the new dispensation, the leadership is more inward looking and looking at the personal accumulation of wealth at the expense of looking at the poorest in society. The challenge in the country is that you now have the society being pushed to become one of the most unequal societies in the world.”

“And that is the biggest crisis that you face where the gap between the rich and poor has continued to widen, and it seems very little is being done to try to narrow that gap. So all these things that you now see about state capture and so on these are fundamental challenges where you begin to see that actually some of the promises have not been carried through perhaps in fear of rocking the boat in terms of chasing away investors.”

“All the governments from Mandela, to Mbeki to Zuma now, none of these governments have done anything that is radical enough to transform the economy. You find that the whole language of radical transformation gains currency because new organisations such as the EFF, which is now trying to appropriate the language of the freedom charter and make it their own.”

“Everybody now is trying to compete in terms of who owns the freedom, the language of the freedom charter. There is deep frustration and for me, it’s quite sad because South Africa being the last to go through decolonisation you would imagine it would have learnt a lot from the other post-colonial African countries.”

“Of course they did learn; they came up with a brilliant constitution, the economy is still fairly strong but I think in terms of addressing the core issues that people were fighting for there are big question marks and one could talk about [a] significant degree of failure or betrayal of the masses if you want to put it that way.

Many socio-economic problems remain despite a significant improvement in the political arena.

Prof Salim Vally, Director of the Centre for Education Rights and Transformation

 Salim VallyThe issues faced under apartheid are still rife “because the structure of the economy has not changed because for many people having the right to vote and basic democratic rights, while important, remain hollow since ‘you can’t eat the vote’ is what a lot of people say. And certainly, we have repeated the mistakes made by other post-colonial countries.” Karl Marx said: “First time as tragedy, second time as comedy.”

“I just think that looking back there’s a deep sense of disappointment. There’s a questioning about this trajectory we chose and it’s an understanding that comes with knowing facts like inequality continues massively. That racism is part of the warp and woof of the fabric of society. That while there was change it did not benefit the vast majority but those who were privileged in the past and a new layer, a small layer, of the black elite. But basically, the vast majority of black people in our country have not seen the kinds of changes that many of us struggled for.”

“I don’t think it’s still too late I think there’s a lot of work to be done and we can turn the situation around. But certainly, the level of corruption and what we have witnessed over the past two decades has disillusioned many people. So there is a sense of depression but I think that the only way to deal with it, is to be [involved] in the new movements that are starting, that are springing up and to listen to the young people who are trying to change the situation and who are not satisfied with the failed promises.”

So what now?

Twenty-three years into independence and South Africa’s transition into a post-apartheid society has been rocky. Many had predicted the situation we would be in and here we are. A healthy dose of scepticism is needed in order to properly navigate the space we’re in politically. Although corruption may be unacceptable the impact of our colonial history needs to be taken into account. Redressing inequalities that were crafted over 300 years ago is not easy to do in just two decades.

WHAT IT WAS LIKE ON THAT HISTORIC DAY IN 1994

By Xiletelo Mabasa

To our parents, the 27th of April 1994 was current affairs but to us it is history. Born-frees and anyone of us who was a toddler at the time has seen countless documentaries about the fall of apartheid and the ‘euphoria of 1994’.

But what was it like to stand in a line for hours on end, to mark off the name of a party when they previously never having the right to do so? The Open Journal asked four UJ academics to give their account of voting and even watching the event unfold from other parts of the world.

Prof Jane Duncan, Journalism lecturer

…even the sceptics were caught up in the excitement of the day.

JANE DUNCAN

“I was voting with my husband in Yeoville and it was fabulous because there was an incredible spirit on the streets. It was just fascinating, meeting people and listening to what they had to say about their expectations of the day just in the park where the voting took place.”

“We queued, for I think it was about seven hours, but nobody minded because it was just a huge event. You met new people and got to know them and you formed friendships in the line.

The spirit was great and we hardly even noticed in fact that we were queuing for seven hours because it was just like an outing for the day. I just remember the way that the queue snaked all the way around the park and then all the way around the outside of the park as well because there were so many people who were voting,” she remembers.

After the voting, which was more of an event, Duncan remembers spending time with other voters. “There was a very popular drinking hole, kind of a local spot in Yeoville called Times Square, I remember people sat until the middle of the night just discussing how seismic this particular day was,” she remembered.

Some voters took it all with a pinch of salt but they still made their mark that day. “Nevertheless I think that even the sceptics were caught up in the excitement of the day. I think that the nature of the event just transcended any sober-minded analyses of the politics of the process of voting.”

“The ballot paper was incredibly long. There were huge numbers of parties that chose to run. Back then, the parties didn’t have to pay a registration fee; so it was extremely easy to get on the ballot paper. Parties such as the Soccer Party and the KISS party, the Keep it Straight and Simple party, could be seen on the ballot paper. Ballot papers were kept as memoirs.”

“They were laminated and if people were aware of the importance of the moment they kept them for prosperity because extra ballot papers were sold off as souvenirs. People gave them as gifts to one another and framed them as well,” she said with a smile.

Prof Dumisani Moyo, HOD of Journalism, Film and Television

…we are the countries that are in the front line facing South Africa, facing to push out the last of the colonialists.

DUMISNI MOYO

In the 90s Dumisani Moyo was teaching literature at a Zimbabwean high school. “South Africa was already so much on the minds of most Zimbabweans,” he said. “Zimbabwe was one of those frontline states and the liberation of South Africa was sort of the last hurdle that everybody was looking forward to. This was a global phenomenon, the global excitement really ignited a lot of joy and celebration across the continent to say ‘finally we have reached the last milestone’.”

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) stood firm against apartheid. It was a way of saying that, “we are the countries that are in the front line facing South Africa, facing to push out the last of the colonialists.”

Moyo explained how the SADC countries were excited by [the] transformation in South Africa. “It was a moment of huge celebration that finally we have achieved the goal of liberation and the goal of the total liberation of the continent.”

It’s only been 23 years and that is exactly why these memories are still fresh in the hearts and minds of our parents. Perhaps in terms of transitioning a previously segregated society into an integrated and harmonious one, 23 years is the equivalent of 23 minutes.

Prof Salim Vally, Director of the Centre for Education Rights and Transformation

…that energy that creativity that people wanted to promote after that particular day has come to nought it has been squandered.

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“For me like millions of my compatriots, the 27th of April 1994, was a day filled with exhilaration, expectation [and] joy.”

Vally was a member of the South African Students Movement (SASM), the high school wing of SASSO (SASO) a black consciousness organisation to which Steve Biko was a member. The organisation sparked off the 1976 uprising and was banned after the murder of Steve Biko.

Many of Vally’s friends and colleagues became freedom fighters. His activism had landed him in prison at one point. “So of course, given apartheid, given colonialism and given the lack of basic democratic rights, we looked forward to the 27th of April with great expectation. I must say that most of us were extremely disappointed,” “It was an incredible day, a day that I would not have missed for anything. For many people, it was a culmination of many years of struggle and of course,; these were long lines and ample opportunities to speak, people queued for many, many hours but there was joy,; there were really positive feelings. And it’s such a pity that that energy that creativity that people wanted to promote after that particular day has come to not nought it has been squandered.”

Thea de Wet, Director of Centre for Academic Technologies (CAT)

So that day stands out to me as that carnage; there was blood everywhere and my mum screaming like someone who’s just witnessed a murder and then the contrast of the hopefulness and the joy of voting that first day.

Thea de Wet

On the 27th of April 1994, Thea de Wet and her three sisters went to their local voting station in Adendorp near Graff Reinet where they had volunteered to work. “Everybody came to vote in the tiny little town hall, so they had voting stations there.”

Thea remembers how that same morning a tame springbok that her mother had been sheltering had been killed by a pack of dogs the night before.

“I will never forget it, my mum ran from that place screaming, I thought somebody had died. So that day stands out to me as that carnage; [there] was blood everywhere and my mum screaming like someone who’s just witnessed a murder and then the contrast of the hopefulness and the joy of voting that first day.”

“All the political parties had observers to make sure that there was no cheating; that all the procedures were followed and there were very strict rules to follow,” she remembered.

“We were told not to help anybody and if there were some older people that couldn’t read, which was not that uncommon at that time, that we could help them but then there needed to be several people present and then you could explain to the person what the different parties were.”

One young man, in particular, stood out to her. “I can see his face now in front of me. And I’ve wondered years later what happened to this guy. He was very young I think he was probably just 18, but he was an observer. He was a PAC observer and he wanted to make sure that all of us toe the line,” she recounted.

And if we take into account the more than 300 years of oppression that preceded the 46-year apartheid regime, then maybe, it’s only been a few seconds. But is it truly laughable to expect such radical change in such a short space of time? Find out in the second part of this Freedom day series.

Editor of Fitness magazine shares life changing tips on fitness and health

By Bongani Mavundla

It took many students a concentration of one hour to find crucial tips about fitness and health that the editor of Fitness magazine shared. But it might just take you two minutes to discover that.

Pedro Van Gaalen, managing editor of Fitness magazine who is a fitness instructor and personal trainer on the 25th of April 2017 shared his knowledge about fitness and healthy eating based on his professional capacity to students at the library of UJ-APK.

Noteworthy health and fitness tips

“How many people used the stairs to the sixth floor of the building when coming to the event,” Van Gaalen asked the people who had attended the session.

Others raised their hands as an indication of agreeing to have done that. The other half laughed the question off.

“Walking and taking the stairs regularly will help in keeping you healthy and avoid diseases,” Van Gaalen said. “It is a good exercise tool from a health and fitness perspective while keeping you active and improve your mobility.”

It was vital for such a publication to host a talk of this nature as it promotes fit and healthy living and the benefits thereof.

“The important thing to do when you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle is starting by cutting out processed foods and sugar in your diet,” said Van Gaalen boldly.

“This in conjunction with exercise will lead one to noticeable results depending on their fitness level goal,” he added.

Going back to natural foods is what dominated, “it is important to include as many greens as you can to your diet,” said Van Gaalen. “Greens are easy to prepare and to cook. They are inexpensive too.”

He advised the students to buy greens from the market in town instead of going to the retail stores. “Buy them in bulk as it will save money. Pre-cook them then freeze them so that when you need them it will take up a few minutes.”

“Do away with high-carb foods and substitute fizzy drinks with water. The healthier natural options you opt for the more benefits you get for your body,” said Van Gaalen.

On the usage of steroids and advanced supplements for muscle-gain it was recommended that experts or trained professionals should be consulted before embarking on the journey of body-building as there are dire consequences if not used correctly.

Students’ reaction

Most students who attended the lecture session reacted very positively, showing indications of being inclined and satisfied with the session. Others expressed how meaningful and life changing the session was as they’d in the future use the tips Van Gaalen provided.

Sabelo Hadebe, a UJ student said: “I was confused on what I should do with regards to a balanced healthy diet. I have been going to the gym for some time but there were no results. I hope this would help for the future.”

“It was a very inspirational talk. I was glad that he was able to tackle the issue of cereals and I have more light now about which ones are healthier. Even though I came here believing that it will be more focused on those that go to the gym more, that’s not the case now,” said Natalie Mvimbi, who is a student at the university.

The organizers mentioned that there will be more talks similar to this one as the university wants to promote healthy living habits to students.

About 1 500 members of the UJ community marched against SGBV

By Onthatile Kgoadigoadi & Palesa Mlambo

According to the UN Statistics 2016, one in three women still experience physical or sexual violence. However, it is not only experienced by women but by men as well. The University of Johannesburg took an initiative to fight against Sexual & Gender Based Violence (SGBV), in a walk which was held on 21st of April 2017.

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) community, led by Student Affairs in partnership with the Institutional Office for HIV and AIDS (IOHA), Campus Health and Community Engagement organised a walk from UJ Auckland Park Bunting Campus (APB) to UJ Auckland Park Kingsway Campus (APK). This was to emphasise the University’s commitment to end all forms of SGBV before it happens, and responding to the needs of all survivors, who can be men and women.

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It was a triumphant walk filled with excitement which reflected unison between UJ students and the respective leaders of the march. With the red & black colored t-shirts and the vibrant chanting, the words; #ViolenceMustFall and Kwanele were exclaimed.

Amongst the masses were also students who could relate to the sexual and gender based violence march, Jabulile Mbhele says, “It is important for me to engage in this walk because my mom is a victim of abuse from my dad, which she fortunately survived. Most women have developed the tendency of surrendering to the pain of abuse inflicted on them for the sake of being loved.”

Patrick Buthelezi, a Finance Expenditure officer at UJ Doornfontein Campus, came to represent UJ staff to say that, “I am sick and tired of having to read in the newspapers about the treatment that is being inferred onto our loved ones. I am against gender and sexual violence. #Notinmyname.”

Despite the stereotypes that men are the only perpetrators of sexual-gender based violence but a considerable number of men participated in the march to display their disapproval of sexual-gender based violence.

“I think we are not giving enough attention to violence against women and children. I do think it is quite important especially the males showing support for this course,” says Jaco Van Schoor, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Finance at the University of Johannesburg.

Not only was the SGBV walk to raise awareness, it was also to submit a memorandum of concerned students in partnership with students support division for the University of Johannesburg to note and respond to certain demands.

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Requests that the memorandum entails:

  1. Establishment of a division to exclusively address SGBV issues within UJ
  2. Establish a hotline for SGBV reporting
  3. Senior management, frontline service staff and student leadership to attend SGBV sensitisation workshop
  4. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual (LGBT+) to be considered when allocating accommodation to students
  5. Procedures to follow for SGBV survivors to be made available on all communication platforms
  6. Protection Service patrol radius to be increased to include off-campus accredited accommodation
  7. Improve lighting on campus for ease of movement by students at night
  8. Support all departments engaging in SGBV awareness within the university

 

He Wants Nothing More Than To Make Us Dance Until Our Legs Give In “No Matter What I Will Succeed…”

By Nadine Robinson

The guy who is 100% focused on his DJ’ing career wants nothing more than to make us dance until our legs give in. “I will succeed no matter what, I will not look back.” Katleho Ramahanetsa, better known by his stage name “DJ Banze” has been in the local limelight for quite some time. The 24 year old Deejay born and bred in the  East Rand, in a small town called Phooko in Katlehong makes music that will leave your eardrums buzzing and your feet tapping long after he has left.

Where it all started for Katleho

DJ Banze took an interest in music while still in high school; he attended Mphontsheng Secondary School where he says music played a big role in his high school experience.

When asked about the name ‘Banze’, he tells The Open Journal that it was given to him by his Grandmother when he was a young boy, after a naughty monkey on her favourite TV show.

He described himself as being quiet yet mischievous during his high school years and jokingly tells The Open Journal how he was beaten by his Magriza (Grandmother) for getting into trouble as a teen. He spent a lot of time watching his cousin Dj at the local tavern.

“My older cousin used to play gigs in taverns [he] always gave me his laptop to mess around with some beats and I’ve wanted to learn more ever since then”, says DJ Banze, this is how it all started for him.

He brags about his amazing mentor Tumelo ‘Fong-Kong’ Letshoke who works for Red Bull, he proudly mentions how Letshoke taught him the very important basics of Deejaying, and is part and parcel of the success he is striving to be today.

His big break!

His first big gig was in 2012 where he played for his first crowd. He hesitantly tells The Open Journal that it was not as amazing as he had anticipated, but he was very grateful as it kicked his Deejaying career into full swing.

“I became the chairperson of Mixx Masters in 2014 and started teaching others how to DJ.”

He suddenly becomes extremely excited as he starts telling us about the Red Bull competition he had won and then went on to take second place at the nationals.

He describes this as the moment that brought his Mother and Aunt to tears as they were proud of him. DJ Banze has won countless competitions ever since and performed at many events.

Banze performed at Ragg events, fresher’s, and is also the resident DJ at UJ Sports events like rugby, netball, soccer. “I became the resident DJ for UJfm in late 2015,” motions Banze. This is the same year in which he won campus clash which he spoke of very proudly.

What inspires your music?

DJ Banze mentions that his mother was a lover of old school house music and played it in their home on days when they spring cleaned together, he goes on to say that old school house music is in fact his favourite music to play at gigs as it reminds him of his mother. “My mom is my biggest fan, she really is,” says Banze.

He speaks proudly of how his mother and aunt are his biggest fans and how they give him the extra nudge to keeping rocking the best music in Gauteng and around Mzansi. As much as Banze is a deejay, but none of the renowned Deejays he looks up to in the industry. He has so much respect for artists like Black Coffee and Shimza, but he is ultimately inspired by Hip-Hop artist AKA.

The Banze Brand

DJ Banze emphasises that he wants to be his own person, create his own unique brand and not be a shadow artist mimicking other DJ’s styles.

Deejay Banze has ventured into business as an endeavour of expanding his brand by designing T-shirts and Caps. This clothing on the fore reflects the Banze brand which is thriving on a large scale.

He will be on TV deejaying live on Fan Base SABC 1 from 18: 00 on 14 April, 9 June and 16 June 2017.

His Fears and challenges as a full-time DJ

“I do not believe that being a DJ will secure me financially,” says Banze. He finds it quite challenging as he does not always get paid on time or even at all sometimes. He says that his secret is friendliness but mostly his set.

It is important for him to have the perfect set that will rock the crowd and leave them wanting more. He shares with The Open Journal that his priority is to make people happy through his music.

You can find him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

For Gigs contact him directly on:

Tumelo (Student Brand Manager) 084 6150284

Katleho: 078 754 0814

Reflection Of UJ Students and Staff About Sdumo Being Sent Off to UJ-SWC

By Palesa Mlambo & Nadine Robinson

The University of Johannesburg Soweto campus hosted the funeral service for Joe Mafela on Wednesday the 29th March 2017. The Open Journal spoke to students and employees at the University about what they thought regarding the send-off being held so close to home.

Maletaba Senama, Janitorial Staff Member, University of Johannesburg, SWC.

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“It was nice that he was brought to UJ before his burial but our hearts were saddened because we love him very much considering the plays he made such as Sgud’Snayi. We remember the old times, it was interesting to see how a legend is buried.”

 

 

 

 

Sylvia Mohale, Diploma In accountancy, University of Johannesburg, SWC

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“For those who didn’t like or know Joe Mafela personally or on his career level, you got to know him through his memorial service and we got to find out things what we didn’t know about him. It was actually a memorable initiative for the Soweto campus and its students specifically”

 

 

 

Vusi, Diploma in Accountancy, University Of Johannesburg, SWC.

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“Mr Joe Mafela was a very important member of society and he was undoubtedly a legend. He will be remembered for all his work always and it was a privilege and an honour to have his sendoff be at or campus, it feels like we have somewhat contributed to honouring him and we also got a chance to bid him farewell”

Death is never easy and one can never comprehend it, when legends such as Joe Mafela pass, they leave the responsibility of ensuring quality entertainment for the society to the next generation.  They simply pave the way, show us how it is done and it is up to the next generation to take it upon themselves and follow in their footstep, not only to continue the legacy but to start another one for the next generation and that is how life goes.

EFFSC and DASO’s “Victory Of Boycotting SRC Elections”

By Magnificent Mndebele

After the boycott of 2017 UJ elections, the Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command of Auckland Park Campus celebrated this evening (31 March 2017) with cakes. They say their boycott was a success.

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Others within EFFSC and DASO said the boycott was a success because many students did not vote. Whether you did not vote because you did not see the point of doing so, or you were inundated and delayed, it seems like you indirectly participated in their boycotting campaign.

RELATED ARTICLE: “Corruption” incites EFFSC and DASO to boycott the 2017 UJ-APK elections

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[Photography] They Came. They Refreshed The Spirit and Left. But You Didn’t See Them.

By Magnificent Mndebele

They were few and no one was anticipating them (SASCO-SWC). It seemed like no one knew they’d come. But surprisingly they did. Their solidarity drew attention, and their fellow activists whom they came to support (SASCO-APK) joined them as they enchanted freedom songs.

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SASCO duly elected in DFC after an automatic walk-over

By Gaby Ndongo

SASCO DFC branch was duly elected on the 29th of March as the campus official students’ representative body after an automatic walk-over.

The Election Consulting Agency of Africa, EMCA, announced during the late hours of March 29th through posters that no voting was to take place in DFC as SASCO was the only candidate running for the election.

This was an unavoidable result of the Economic Freedom Fighters Students Command (EFFSC), which holds the position of being the only opposition to SASCO in DFC, early walk-out from the UJSRC election.

“We didn’t pull out; we just didn’t want to legitimize an illegitimate process, because it is illegitimate that those people [EMCA] come here masking under the name of the IEC [Independent Election Commission] whereas they are not,” said the EFFSC DFC branch’s task team convener Molomautau Mphahlele.

“I can’t say, in fact, I don’t really agree with the fact that we are boycotting the election as the EFF[SC] DFC. We said we are not contesting for the election,” said the coordinator of the branch.

The secretary of SASCO-DFC Neo Ramere said, “in electoral terms it was an automatic walk-over”. In other words, there was no independent or other student representative body running for the election to oppose SASCO. It was to be wasteful expenditure by printing out ballots papers and setting up a tent in the campus if the election was to take place. Therefore, the election facilitator decided to call off the election.

The EFFSC withdrew from the UJSRC election since February and called upon all UJ students to boycott the elections. Due to a “lack of an impartial election facilitator, IEC, which is being replaced with a private facilitator EMCA that is owned by UJ management. Hence making the UJSRC elections corrupt and undemocratic.”

SASCO, on the other hand, could not pull out as it regards itself as a vanguard of its constituencies (students) needs and wants, said Ramere. Moreover, those of have lost in the past previous years have always sought to take the election vacillator to court.

 

 

“Corruption” incites EFFSC and DASO To Boycott The 2017 UJ-APK Elections

By Magnificent Mndebele and Gaby Ndongo

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.