University of Johannesburg EFF students cheer after Tuesdays order that a student representative council meeting can go ahead. Picture: Zelda Venter

Students registering for the 2019 academic year at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) will soon be able to be formally represented by the Student Representative Councils (SRC’s) of their choice on campus.

This comes after the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, on Tuesday issued an urgent order that two representatives of the South African Students Congress (Sasco) had to attend the next constituting meeting to be arranged by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) for the election of the Central Students’ Representative Council (CSRC) at the university..

The Economic Freedom Fighters' Students Command of UJ turned to court for an order that the election of the CSRS be held, with or without the two Sasco members.

They accused these members of holding the process to ransom by refusing to attend the meeting.

They told the court that as registrations at the university are at present ongoing, it was extremely important that the students be represented during this time by the body of their choice to take up their grievances.

“If this matter is not heard as a matter of urgency, there is no doubt that scores of students will  be unrepresented by a CSRS,” Tshireletso Mati, president of EFF’s student command of UJ said.

He said it was thus extremely urgent that the CSRS be formally constituted before the end of the registration period, so that any aggrieved student at least had a voice against the university by way of their student representative body.

“Without the proper constitution of a CSRS, the students are left vulnerable and unrepresented.” Mati said as things now stood, all decisions made by the university went unchallenged as the students were not formally represented. 

An election was held by the IEC in October last year where Mati and five of his party members, as well as two Sasco members were elected as the eight new members of the CSRC for 2019. 

But for the CSRC to come into operation, the chairperson of the electoral commission had to call a meeting within five days after the announcement of the election results. In terms of the rules all the members of the new CSRC  must be present at the meeting.

As the two SASCO members refused to attend, the IEC said it was simply unable to constitute the CSRC without them.

Mati said the situation has become dire as student registration was the time when the students needed them the most.

Judge Hennie de Vos’s order that the two Sasco students had to attend the meeting, was greeted with cheers from members of the EFF’s student body who gathered outside court.