With all the excitement around #FeesMustFallReloaded, there’s one name that seems to be at the center of it all: The South African Union of Students (SAUS), but who are they?

SAUS is a student union that is elected by SRC’s from universities across the country and therefore represent all Student Representative Councils in the country.

They have been speaking for students at the Fees Commision’s public hearings which began last week and on Sunday SAUS released a statement calling for mass meetings across universities on the issue of fee increments.

According to the SAUS Secretary General Sthembiso Ka-Ndlovu the union was established at Stellenbosch University in 2006, it’s main purpose was so that students had a single representative body in the higher education sector.

They union is said to be a national and non-partisan umbrella body of student representation in the country.

However people on social media have been questioning the legitimacy of SAUS and the fact that it is mostly comprised of Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) members, an organisation made up of mostly ANC-affiliated youth organisations.

Ka-Ndlovu says there is a heavy PYA presence in SAUS because SRC’s elect the members and “of the 25 Universities about 19 of them are SASCO-led.”

Who is in the executive?

President: Avela Mjajubala – Durban University of Technology

Deputy President: Moza Motlalepula – North West University

Secretary General: Sthembiso Ka-Nkosi – Tshwane University of Technology

Deputy Secretary General: Fasiha Hassan – Wits University

Treasurer: Misheck Mugabe – Fort Hare University.

People who can be nominated to represent students in SAUS have to have been part of the SRC in the last two years prior to being elected.

The union currently has 15 members.

Related stories:

Wits Vuvuzela: SAUS to begin mobilising from Monday as fee increase looms, August 14, 2016

Wits Vuvuzela: Treasury says no money to fund zero percent fee increase, August 14, 2016