The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) has obtained an urgent interdict forcing two members of the South African Students Congress (Sasco) to attend a meeting so that the central students’ representative council (CSRC) can finally be constituted.
The EFF Student Command in October last year, for the first time in UJ history, won six of the eight positions on the CSRC, but alleged in court papers Sasco members Jacob Walaza and Patricia Limbane had been holding the entire process to formally constitute the CSRC to ransom since then.
Judge Hennie de Vos yesterday granted an order in the High Court in Pretoria compelling Walaza and Limbane to attend the next CSRC constituting meeting.
The chairperson of the Soweto branch of the EFF at the university, Mphahlele Phasoane, said in court papers the CSRC – which oversees the four campus SRCs at UJ – should have been constituted within five days of the announcement of the election results on October 23, but this never happened, leaving students unrepresented.
Phasoane said he had attempted to properly convene a constituting meeting on numerous occasions, but they all had to be postponed because the Sasco members simply refused to attend without making an excuse.
He said this created an untenable situation as the CSRC could not, in terms of UJ policy, be constituted and the policy could also not be amended unless all members of the new CSRC were present.
According to Phasoane, the newly elected members were told to simply fulfil an advisory roll until the CSRC had been constituted, but this state of affairs was “simply unlawful” and contrary to UJ’s own policies.
It left the CSRC unable to properly fulfil its function and the university free to make decisions “in a bureaucratic and arbitrary manner” without the CSRC being there to represent the needs of their fellow students, he added.
He said all attempts to get the university to intervene were unsuccessful and he believed the absence of two members was “a political ploy to the detriment of the students”.
The situation had become dire as the registration process had started, which was a time when students were vulnerable to often discriminatory policies, he added.