The SRC has agreed to review the decision to refuse recognition to Project W but the new organisation is already complaining the process is a “fruitless” exercise.
Project W’s Jamie Mighti complained that the process, which began with a meeting on Wednesday, will be unlikely to reverse the initial decision, made by the Progressive Youth Alliance-led SRC.
Earlier this month, Wits Vuvuzela reported that Project W and Wits Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) had been refused official recognition as clubs and societies by the SRC. Both organisations said their exclusion was politically motivated.
[pullquote]“So what is the point of having a review, if you are not going to review and if you are not actually going to follow the letter of the rules,”[/pullquote]
The decision to exclude them is now being reviewed by the SRC.Dean of Students Pamela Dube told Wits Vuvuzela the SRC had “committed themselves to providing an opportunity for the relevant CSO’s[clubs and societies] to present themselves following the dissatisfaction with the outcome of the Initial process,” she said.
A pre determined outcome?
But Project W SRC member Jamie Mighti, claimed the process will be a “fruitless”exercise because SRC clubs and societies officer Sarah Mokwebo declared at the Wednesday meeting about appeal process that “I’ve already made my rulings and I’m going to stand by them” “So what is the point of having a review, if you are not going to review and if you are not actually going to follow the letter of the rules,”Mighti said.
“We’re going to make presentations before three or four SRC members, but only one [Mokwebo] decides what happens and makes recommendations. The one person who makes recommendations is the very same person who declined the societies in the first place,” said Mighti.
Mokwebo told Wits Vuvuzela that she could not respond to allegations made against her since it was an “internal matter”. She referred questions to SRC president Shafee Verachia and SRC secretary Michlene Mongae. Verachia said he was in meetings and could not comment. Mongae did not reply to requests for comment.
Even if Project W is refused recognition, they may still have a reprieve Dube said the final endorsement of the SRC’s decision on clubs and societies would come from her office with some input from the vice-chancellor’s office.
[pullquote align=”right”]“We were told that if we didn’t reach quorum, we would just make recommendations to the SRC, but how can we make a recommendation to ourselves?”[/pullquote]
Wits EFF member Tokelo Nhlapo said they were not aware of the review process and would not participate in it since they were not invited to by the SRC. Instead, they would be appeal directly to the dean of students.
Project W SRC member Jabulile Mabuza told Wits Vuvuzela that the meeting the SRC held on Wednesday to review applications was problematic. She said the meetings did not have a quorum and so could not take decisions, only make recommendation.“We were told that if we didn’t reach quorum, we would just make recommendations to the SRC, but how can we make a recommendation to ourselves?”she asked.
Ghost form 6
She added that new forms needed to apply and not been provided to Project W. The form in question “Form 6” was not given to Project W at their initial application.
Mabuza added that the form does not exist, “Nobody knows where it is, or who has it,” she said. Mighti said that Project W would still make their presentation despite their complaints with the process. “We will follow their broken system, but we will point out that their system is broken,” he said.
[pullquote]”Some of these people have political ambitions to lead ANC provincial structures, so they want to be seen to be shutting down the ANC’s opponents,” Nhlapo said.[/pullquote]
APPLICATION DENIED: Vuyani Pambo, chairperson of Wits EFF, was upset by the SRC overplaying their hand. Photo: Nomatter Ndebele
ACCUSATIONS that the SRC is abusing its powers against political opponents have resulted in a review by the vice chancellor’s office.
The SRC, which is led by the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA), is responsible for officially recognizing Wits clubs and societies, including political organizations.
Two political organizations, Project W and Wits Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), have been refused recognition.
Both organizations have appealed their rejections and accuse the PYA of playing dirty politics.
Dean of Students Pamela Dube confirmed the SRC would hear the appeal and the vice-chancellor’s office “is looking into reviewing the process by which [clubs and societies] are approved.”
SRC secretary Michlene Mongae declined to comment to Wits Vuvuzela on the accusations.
Jamie Mighti, a Project W SRC member, said the PYA did not follow correct procedure during the application process.
“The SRC must give applicants a model constitution to fill it, but they didn’t do that,” said Mighti. He said Project W’s constitution was later rejected by the SRC because it was not in line with the model.
According to Mighti, new clubs and societies must appear at an SRC general meeting as a final step before being officially recognized or rejected.
But he said this was not done for new clubs.[pullquote]”Some of these people have political ambitions to lead ANC provincial structures, so they want to be seen to be shutting down the ANC’s opponents,” Nhlapo said.[/pullquote]
Mighti accused SRC president Shafee Verachia and Club and Society portfolio holder Sarah Mokwebo of making the decision to reject new clubs without consultations.
The SRC is made up of eight PYA members and six Project W members.
Project W accused the PYA members of the SRC of “banning” them to stop it from interacting with students during O-week.
Chairperson of Wits EFF, Vuyani Pambo, said their organisation applied two days before the application closing date but they did not even appear on the list of clubs and societies who had applied.
“It was as if we never applied,” Pambo said.
He said that when Wits EFF inquired about why they were not on the list, they were given contradictory explanations.
SRC internal vice president internal Paul Ndiweni said they applied late while Mokwebo said they had not applied at all.
Former SRC vice president Tokelo Nhlapo, who defected from the PYA to Wits EFF last year, also agreed that proper procedure had not been followed.
“The SRC is simply a ceremonial structure. It does not follow constitutional obligations,” he said.
“Some of these people have political ambitions to lead ANC provincial structures, so they want to be seen to be shutting down the ANC’s opponents,” Nhlapo said.
The PYA is an alliance between the ANC Youth League, Muslim Students Association and South African Students Congress.
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