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University of Pretoria EFF Student Command vows to fight disqualification of eight of its candidates

The EFF Student Command at the University of Pretoria has vowed to challenge the disqualification of eight of its candidates. Picture: File

The EFF Student Command at the University of Pretoria has vowed to challenge the disqualification of eight of its candidates. Picture: File

Published Sep 18, 2023


Pretoria - The EFF Student Command (SC) at the University of Pretoria has vowed to challenge the disqualification of eight of its candidates in the election of the Student Representative Council (SRC) earlier this month.

The university’s Independent Election Monitoring Board announced that eight of the candidates were disqualified last week accused of violating the SRC election rules.

The red berets student wing were suspended after Afriforum Youth mobilised and ran a petition against the structure labelling them a “radical, racist organisation”.

According to AfriForum Youth, the petition garnered more than 2  000 signatures.

AfriForum Youth spokesperson, René van der Vyver, said the organisation had achieved a huge victory in the interest of all students at UP and helped to ensure that there would be no place for radical, racist organisations in leadership structures at this university.

The EFF had been accused of acts of intimidation, inciting violence, disrupting study sessions and fuelling racial tension.

In a letter to the university’s leadership last week, AfriForum Youth demanded that the EFFSC UP be deregistered as a student society and that their SRC candidates be suspended.

Van der Vyver said: “We have also filed a complaint against the provisional SRC election results at this university as part of a protest action against the circumstances regarding the SRC elections.

“This opposition stems from the inexcusable manner in which the EFFSC UP has acted since the start of the voting process in this year’s SRC election on September 5.

“Regardless of which violation of the election rules was the final nail in the coffin for the disqualification of the EFF SRC candidates, this is a victory for all Tukkies students. An SRC who sings songs about murder, disrupts studies or intimidates students can never be recognised as leaders,” added Van der Vyver.

“AfriForum Youth urges the university management to stick to this decision and not give in to intimidation and threats of violence that have been made since the announcement of the disqualification of the EFFC SRC candidates.

Van der Vyver said that the university had a responsibility to protect students and stop those who cause disruption.

However, the EFFSC UP leadership in a letter addressed to the board said they were not going to take their suspension lying down.

In an unsigned letter the organisation challenged the constitution of the board calling its chairperson Willem Jorrissen racist, while labelling its officials a pawn.

“ The EFFSC UP has it on good authority that constitution of the board is currently not in line and does not have the required number of members who were supposed to be appointed before the announcement of the UP SRC elections.

“That racist Willem Jorrissen does not have the powers to remove the board’s officials designated by the outgoing SRC and to instruct IEC on how it must operate as he did on the day polls opened.

“The EFFSC UP is also aware that the report by the IEC to the board was written by Michael Makobe on the instruction of Willem.

“The EFFSC UP also has it on good authority that the board did not “meet regularly during the election period’ and this would be the reason why they failed to ventilate issues in accordance with Annexure A Section 2 (e)(f)(g) or any disputes,” the letter read.

“The EFFSC UP affiliated SRC candidates will not be a sacrifice to ensure that IEC officials, Michael Makobe, Devandre along with its volunteer’s stomachs are full,” the letter concluded.

Pretoria News