Political posturing, promises and long analogies about “political boyfriends” have so far defined the 2013 SRC election campaign.
The SRC elections, to be held from August 27 to 29, are being fought by three political organisations as well as a slew of independent candidates.The Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA), Democratic Alliance Students Organisation (Daso) and political newcomer Project W, have been visiting student residences this past week in a series of circuses to make their pitches to the electorate.
I’m gonna do everything it takes to win your love again
The student political organisations all had their chance to give sweet promises to students.At Tuesday’s circus in Braamfontein Centre, Project W member Jamie Mighti gave a lengthy analogy where he compared campaigning by the PYA, who have dominated past SRCs, to him begging an old girlfriend to take him back.
“‘Give me more time, I’m gonna change, I’m gonna get my behaviour right and I’m gonna do everything it takes to win your love again’,” he recounted pleading. “She was wiser than most and she broke up with me. Because talk is cheap, this is not about talking. We are at the point of re-negotiating the relationship,” Mighti said.
[pullquote]She was wiser than most and she broke up with me. Because talk is cheap[/pullquote]
The audience, filled mostly with PYA sympathisers, laughed—though whether the laughter was with Mighti or directed at him was not clear. Mighti continued his attack and said it was under the PYA that Wits students had become second place to those at the University of Johannesburg (UJ).
But the PYA was ready for Mighti as they began to list their organisation’s past accomplishments in the SRC. “We’ve managed to get students buses to Bree and Noord. We’ve managed to get international students to pay their fees in instalments,” said PYA candidate Yanga Nokwe. She told students that it was a PYA-led SRC that got working lifts and wifi in Braamfontein Centre.
We are not political opportunists
SRC internal vice-president and PYA member, Joy Phiri, challenged Project W on their credentials and asked what experience they had leading students. At this point Daso, which had struggled for footing in the debate, quickly interjected and said that all of their candidates had already served in student leadership positions such as house comms and school councils.
“We are not political opportunists,” said Daso candidate Dikeledi Selowa. The circuses are designed to allow candidates to engage students and convince them to cast their votes. But they had the opposite effect on at least one student who thought the behaviour of the arguing candidates was “unruly”.
“Is this the type of people they are schooling us to be? I wasn’t impressed,” she said.