The struggle for free and quality education at the University of North-West (NWU) Vaal campus will continue to be among the top priorities of the newly elected students’ representative council (SRC), said SRC president Lesego More. The SRC leadership comprises student leaders from bodies including the SA Students’ Congress (Sasco), DA Student Organisation (Daso) and the EFF Student Command (EFFSC).
“I think the outcome of this year’s election just shows that society at large is finally waking up and saying enough is enough, the status quo must change,” said More. “Our message about the fight for free and quality education, as well as protecting students from exclusion, worked for us during the campaign.”
Speaking to The Citizen yesterday, More stressed that they would not compromise on the call for free education.
“If we don’t fight for this, who then will?” he asked. Despite the political differences between the EFFSC and Sasco mother bodies, More said he was confident of working well with all the SRC members, irrespective of their political affiliation.
More said students would decide if there would be more protest action. He described the contestation during the election campaign as “hectic”, saying the EFFSC was against people who had a big budget. Sasco was in charge of the SRC before last week’s election. Meanwhile, the NWU’s Potchefstroom campus confirmed that SRC elections were also held in recent weeks, but said the criteria used to elect student leaders was not based on political affiliation.
“In other campuses, things are done differently, but for us – as has been the case for years now – the SRC leaders are chosen and elected through the university ranks,” said campus spokesperson Kiewiet Scheppel.
Spokesperson for the Mafikeng campus Koos Degenaar said elections there were scheduled to take place over a period of two days between the end of this month and the beginning of the September.
The Mafikeng campus was forced to temporarily suspend its academic activities following violent clashes which were sparked by the inauguration of SRC leaders. The new SRC was being inaugurated after the EFFSC led leadership was dissolved. During the violence, two buildings were burnt to the ground.