by Roxanne Joseph | Sep 4, 2014 | News
I AM SRC: The SRC for 2014/2015 are made up of candidates from the Progressive Youth Alliance and Project W. No one candidates were elected from the Wits Economic Freedom Fighters. Photo: Tendai Dube
CORRECTION: The article initially and incorrectly stated that 31 000 votes had been cast during SRC elections, when only 7024 valid ballots were cast. 31 905 is the total voters roll, or number of students eligible to vote. Wits Vuvuzela regrets the error which has been corrected below.
Two weeks of Student Representative Council (SRC) electoral campaigning ended on Thursday with the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) edging out Project W, nine seats to six.
Current SRC member, Jamie Mighti, who was running for re-election to the SRC, received the most votes, with 2 929 out of the total 7024 valid votes being cast.
“I’m very happy,” he told Wits Vuvuzela.
Political newcomers Wits Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) were completely shut out, with their members sitting at rock bottom on the candidate list. Despite this, they continued to sing and dance outside the Great Hall, after election results had been announced by dean of students Dr Pamela Dube, earlier today. They were joined by a mass of PYA supporters, kitted out in their yellow and black t-shirts.
Current SRC president and PYA member Shafee Verachia called Witsies “intelligent” for not voting for the EFF. “There was obviously stuff in the party’s manifesto that they clearly don’t like,” he said.
EFF candidate, Anele Nzimande said the party was “different” from the other organisations and said they would be continue to be active outside of the SRC. “Even though we didn’t win, we will still continue to work from the outside with the students,” Nzimande said.
Also notably absent from the winner’s row was PYA candidate Michlene Mongae, who is a member of the current SRC and was campaigning for re-election.
PYA candidate Mcebo Dlamini put the PYA’s win down to “loyalty”, saying that students voted for what they know.
7 192 students voted out of the approximately 30 000 at Wits, amounting to only 23% of the student population.
The SRC president will be announced later this month and will most likely be someone from the PYA, as they had the most candidates elected onto the SRC.
Mighti said that while Project W had hoped to be the dominant party, they were committed to working in partnership with the PYA.
The new SRC will take office on November 1 this year.
The SRC, in order of the number of votes received are as follows:
Jamie Mighti (Project W) – 2929 votes
Thamsanqa Pooe (Project W)- 2894 votes
Blaise Koetsie (Progressive Youth Alliance)- 2812 votes
Senzekahle Mbokazi (Progressive Youth Alliance)- 2789 votes
Mthuthuzel Mahlangu (Progressive Youth Alliance)- 2715 votes
Mcebo Dlamini (Progressive Youth Alliance)- 2606 votes
Shaeera Kalla (Progressive Youth Alliance)- 2584 votes
Fasiha Hassan (Progressive Youth Alliance)- 2554 votes
Gwinyai Dube (Project W)- 2417 votes
Omhle Ntshingila (Progressive Youth Alliance)- 2349 votes
Kabelo Murray (Project W)- 2317 votes
Waseem Talia (Progressive Youth Alliance)- 2308 votes
Amogelang Manganyi (Progressive Youth Alliance)- 2307 votes
Tanya Otto (Project W)- 2287 votes
Enhle Khumalo (Project W)- 2279 votes
by Robyn Kirk | Aug 22, 2014 | News
Shafee Verachia is a BSc Actuarial Science honours student. He is the president of the 2013/14 SRC and a member of the Progressive Youth Alliance. Photo: Luca Kotten
by Shafee Verachia
I HAVE spent the last two years of my time on campus as an SRC member, first serving successfully as the academic officer in 2013 and then as the president of the SRC in 2014. In all of this time, I have come across students who have served in Student Representative Councils not only at Wits, but nationwide and it is through these experiences that I’ve grasped an understanding what it is that is needed to make a good SRC member.
I have seen both the good side of student leadership, and also the bad. I have witnessed the ugly reality of SRC members who undertook being a member, solely for it to stand out on their CV or a fancy title.
I have served with SRC members who, sadly, are not willing to sacrifice for students. Just this year, when discussing the fact that there are students at Wits who are sleeping in libraries, a member serving on the current SRC with me told me, “These students left home and made a choice to sleep in the libraries. I don’t see why we need to fight for them.”
Before voting then, it is imperative that students ask – is this kind of attitude, a quality of a leader that they would like to have representing them?
But I have also witnessed the good of SRC members. I have been so privileged to encounter and serve with students who are always willing to sacrifice and go the extra mile, to best serve students. Being on the SRC requires you, for example, to have to miss lectures and tutorials because you have to go and fight at Senate House for issues such as academic exclusion rules to be relaxed.
There are many SRC members who are student leaders during the day and students during the night. And it is exactly this kind of leader, which you want to be serving you on the SRC. It must always be remembered, that the heartbeat of students, should ALWAYS be greater than an individual’s own selfish ambitions and pride.
To students, I have one resounding message which I cannot reiterate enough: make an educated vote. Don’t only ask ‘What can this organisation do for me alone?’ but rather what can it do to improve the quality of the state of affairs at our university as a whole? Who is it that cares the most for all student interests and is working towards a goal for transformation?
The prettiest face, or the one who uses the best English, may not necessarily be the best person to be representing the interests of 30 000 students. It is a big decision to make, who to give your vote to. But I will say this: trust an organisation. Take the time get to know the candidates and the organisation alike.
Know what it is that they stand for, and know what it is that they are planning to do. Sit back, and consider: what are they doing to challenge the status quo and to continue to drive Wits towards being the best university in Africa.
I wish only the best of luck to all candidates and to all students.
by Roxanne Joseph | Aug 22, 2014 | News
FEES FREEZE: Wits has backed recommendations made by the SRC to freeze the upfront fees for 2015. Photo: Luca Kotton
by Luca Kotton and Roxanne Joseph
The upfront fee for next year will remain frozen at R9 350 but it and other fees may still increase in 2016, according to deputy vice-chancellor of finance, Prof Tawana Kupe.
The university had proposed an increase of the upfront registration fee to R10 300 from R9 350. General tuition fees will still increase.
When asked if the freeze will have an effect on the following year’s upfront fee, Kupe said, “In 2015, we will go through the normal processes for setting the various fees, including the upfront fee payment for 2016.”
The upfront fee free was the result of a long process of negotiations by the SRC which reached an agreement with the University Financial Committee (FINCO) surrounding fee increases in 2015, said SRC president Shafee Verachia.
The agreement was reached just over a week ago at a meeting with FINCO, and will be forward for approval to the University Council, which Vice-chancellor Prof Adam Habib, Verachia and Deputy Vice-chancellor, Prof Andrew Crouch, among others.
Verachia said the SRC successfully negotiated the freeze by commissioning a team of postgrad accounting and actuarial science students to investigate whether or not the upfront fee was unnecessarily high.
Kupe said the freeze is based on a further assessment made by FINCO, which has enabled them to recommend that the university is able to accommodate a freeze in the upfront fee and will not lose any income because “the freeze in the upfront fee amount is not a discount on the fees for 2015”.
He said there was recognition that some fees, such as the Health Sciences degrees, Wits has become too expensive and have been reduced. This is especially significant for international students, who were only allowed to pay their tuition fees in a set of instalments for the first time this year.
Currently, international students studying health sciences will have their fees cut by 60 percent, dropping to R74 680 from about R191 990.
The university had previously justified the increase of the upfront fee by saying it had high costs at the beginning of the year. Kupe said fee increases were necessary due to rising costs.
“Fees have to increase every year because of rising costs, the fact that our government subsidy is not rising as much as inflation and that some of our costs are related to items that are imported,” Kupe told Wits Vuvuzela.
“As you know, the rand has fallen against major currencies and this fall increases our costs. We also have to ensure we have enough financial resources to offer a quality education.”
by Luca Kotton | Jul 30, 2014 | Featured 1, News
SHOW ME THE MONEY: Wits students can start saving for next year as there is a proposed increase to the upfront payment fee. Photo: Luca Kotton
Witsies are going to have dig deeper into their pockets in 2015 with the proposed upfront payment fee increasing to R10 270.00.
The fee, currently at R9340.00, entails a R930.00 increase which is needed by Wits according to university registrar, Carol Crosley. “The universities costs at the beginning of the year are very high,” she said. Crosley added that the registration fee was needed largely due to the department of higher education only providing a portion of their funding at the beginning of April every year and the rest during the start of September.
The SRC (Student Representative Council), though believes the fee is too high and remains opposed to the proposed increase. Shafee Verachia, SRC president said, “We are in the process of doing extensive modelling to see what the process of that upfront payment purpose is and our opposition is that it is to exorbitant and should remain the same. Relative to our peers the upfront fee payment is ridiculous.”
Two years ago Wits started an Upfront Payment Plan (UPP) for students who couldn’t afford the initial registration fee. The students utilising the UPP would only pay half of the registration fee and would still be able to register, the rest of the registration fees would go on their fee statement and could be paid off during the year.
Students on bursaries would have their registration fees waived if a letter by the donor was received by Wits and would then be expected to pay the full tuition fee by 31 March.
School-leavers entering Wits for the first time could avoid paying the registration fee all together if their Grade 12 results were sufficient to secure a university entrance scholarship, which would cover the registration fee in some cases.
Professor Tawana Kupe, deputy vice-chancellor (finance) of the university, told Wits Vuvuzela that the “university finances are stable but the university does not have the funds to do everything it wants to do.”
Typically the upfront fee payment increases by the agreed percentage fee increase for the following academic year, which needs to go through various structures and be approved by the university council, the higest decision-making body in the university.
by Bongiwe Tutu | May 7, 2014 | News
GENERATIONS VOTE TOGETHER: Wits SRC President Shafee Verachia chats with his grandmother Fatima Verachia as they go into the Malboro Gardens voting station. PHOTO: Bongiwe Tutu.
22-year-old Shafee Verachia took his 86-year-old grandmother Fatima, by the hand, as they walked to the Malboro Gardens voting station early this morning.
The Wits SRC (Students Representatives Council) President, wearing African National Congress (ANC) party regalia, made it a family affair, as he joined his grandmother, aunt and brother at the polling station.
“It’s the first election where we are staying with granny so we have brought her to vote with us,” he said.
Fatima Verachia, 86, said in a trembling voice, “I am voting for the ANC, for Mandela, and his legacy.”
“Mandela?” asked Shafee,
“Yes, Mandela,” granny replied,
“And what about Zuma granny?” asked Zubair.
“Yes, Zuma,” she replied after a short breath.
Granny did not say much in words but her thoughts drew expressions of confidence on her face.
Verachia’s 62-year-old aunt Amiena Verachia said she was born during the oppressive regime in South Africa and the freedom that came 20 years ago was the reason for her ANC vote.
First-time voter Verachia says in his childhood he heard a lot of stories about the oppressive South Africa. “Hearing these stories drew an impact in our lives, and I think our generation sees that as something special,” he said.
POLITICAL LINES: Fatima Verachia, 86, accompanied by her grandchildren Zubair Verachia, 23 (left) and Shafee Verachia, 22 (right) to the Malboro Gardens voting station. PHOTO: Bongiwe Tutu.
“I think it’s because of my father, Hussain Verachia, who was in the ANC during the 80s,” said 23-year-old Zubair. He explained their father was part of the struggle and that may have influenced their granny. “There might even be something more that we may not know” the elder brother added.
“Personally, it’s about honouring the generation before me, they made the sacrifices for me to have this right to make this vote today,” said the SRC President.
Zubair Verachia begged to differ with his family on the matter of who they were voting for: “I don’t know who I am going to vote for yet”, he said, explaining that he had a problem with corruption in the ANC.
“At the same time I don’t think South Africa is ready for the DA (Democratic Alliance), as it does not have the empowerment for non-whites as the ANC does,” says Zubair.
He explained that his initial problem was, regardless of ANC’s reach to middle and working class people, most of the leaders in the party used a lot of money for their own benefit.
“I believe in what the ANC stands for, not what it’s become” he said.
by Robyn Kirk | Apr 16, 2014 | News
PLEASE VOTE: (L-R): Pitso Moses, IEC member in Gauteng; Carien du Plessis, a journalist and radio personality Shaka Sisulu, were hosted by the Wits SRC at a discussion on voting last night. Photo: Palesa Tshandu.
A small group of Witsies came together last night to discuss the issue of spoiling a vote in next month’s national elections.
The Wits SRC (Students Representatives Council) hosted journalist Carien du Plessis and radio personality Shaka Sisulu in a discussion that appeared to be a reaction to the NoVote! campaign launched earlier in the day.
In contrast to the Sidikiwe Vukani campaign started by ANC (African National Congress) veterans Ronnie Kasrils and Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge yesterday, the popular opinion at last night’s gathering was in support of social responsibility through voting.
“Democracy only works when you work on it yourself”, said Wits Dean of students, Dr Pamela Dube. “You should vote because you can … we [as South Africans] have a lot to be proud about and contribute [towards our democracy].”
But not all the audience members shared the sentiment. “I’m from the Eastern Cape,” one student commented during the talk. “Even after 20 years of democracy, there is still no electricity [in my hometown], there are still no jobs … what will my one vote do to [to change anything]?”
Sisulu, in response to the student, said that South Africans need to participate in the affairs of government beyond just casting a vote once every five years: “What makes us think that we can have a relationship with our government like that – that’s not a relationship, that’s a one night stand … We must be in a constant dialogue.”
The discussion included talks by the Wits SRC President Shafee Verachia and Pitso Moses of Gauteng’s Independent Electoral Commission and was attended by about 50 people.
by Nomatter Ndebele | Feb 21, 2014 | News
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.
by Mfuneko Toyana | Feb 14, 2014 | News
[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.
PYA-EFF spat leaves disabled students out in the cold, February 7, 2014
SRC to divvy up the spoils, September 13, 2013
by Ray Mahlaka | Sep 20, 2013 | Featured 1, News
Bayas’jwayela: Project W’s Jamie Mighti listens on as Progressive Youth Alliance’s (PYA) Tebogo Thothela explains why some SRC portfolios were merged and new ones created. Photo: Ray Mahlaka
By Emelia Motsai and Ray Mahlaka
PROJECT W has accused the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) of shutting it down in a “conniving manner” after Monday’s constitutional meeting that allocated portfolios.
PYA’s Shafee Verachia (@ShafMysta)was elected uncontested as the new SRC president and four other PYA members were voted into executive team portfolios.
Project W did not make it onto the executive team despite winning seven of 15 directly elected seats on the SRC.
The PYA won eight seats but has an additional four seats on the SRC which were elected indirectly.
Consulting SRC portfolio
Project W’s Jamie Mighti (@thenextbarack)said they came to the PYA “with open arms but we were shut down in a systemic, ruthless and conniving manner. Bayas’jwayela [they are disrespecting us]”.
Project W ‘s Jabulile Mabuza (@ceejaymabuza) said it was “clear that they don’t want to work with us”. She said they had been sidelined and called it an “insult to democracy”.
“You are saying people can do whatever they want as long as you have one more vote,” Mabuza said.
Comrades discuss politics via Whatsapp
Wits Vuvuzela was given a copy of a Whatsapp group conversation between some Project W members and the PYA deployment committee made up of current and former SRC members. [pullquote align=”right”]“We would desire Mighti Jamie for the position of VP [vice president] and Jabulile Mabuza for deputy secretary-general,”[/pullquote]
In the conversation, Mighti was asked which portfolios Project W members wanted and who they wanted in those positions. Mighti said Project W wanted himself and Mabuza in executive positions.
“We would desire Mighti Jamie for the position of VP [vice president] and Jabulile Mabuza for deputy secretary-general,” he said.
Mighti said Project W wanted those positions because it would give them representation in meetings only available to members of the executive team.
“We would also be able to put our views to these decision-making bodies [senate, council and convocation].”
SRC president Sibulele Mgudlwa (@Sibulele_) asked Mighti: “May I ask: does it matter if [Project] W is not in exec? Will it affect their performance in SRC?”
Mighti responded: “I definitely think it will send the message that our say is not valuable to the decision-making process, we would like a voice at the very least in the university structures.”
Mighti warned that excluding Project W would “create an atmosphere of adversity, in that it is the PYA executive versus the Project W candidates, this may lead to more fractious relations over time.”
Divvying up SRC portfolios
Two new SRC portfolios were created and some were merged. Mighti said they were not consulted on this.
“They came to the meeting, merged all the positions that you think are powerful, not because they are trying to be benevolent but because they are trying to monopolise power,” Mighti told Wits Vuvuzela.
[pullquote]“They came to the meeting, merged all the positions that you think are powerful, not because they are trying to be benevolent but because they are trying to monopolise power”[/pullquote] He accused the PYA of merging positions because they ran out of candidates for the portfolios believed to be influential.
PYA deployment committee member Tebogo Thothela denied Project W’s allegations and said the new portfolios were created regularly.
Thothela said they had spoken to Project W members to ask them which portfolios they would want.
Verachia also defended the portfolio assignments: “A lot of thought went into the portfolios,” he said.
Verachia said Project W’s disappointment was because they may have been “ambitious of the portfolios they wanted”.
Working dynamics between Project W and PYA
Mabuza and Mighti were assigned to the two new portfolios, of campus liaison officer and day student liaison officer respectively. Both said they would do their best to serve students in those portfolios.
Verachia said unifying the team would not happen “over night” but he was ready for the job ahead: “It’s a huge responsibility and I am up for the challenge.”
SRC to divvy up the spoils, September 13, 2013
SRC President announced: The winner takes it all, September 17, 2013
WITH GALLERY: SRC election results – PYA gets a wakeup call, August 30, 2013
by Ray Mahlaka | Sep 13, 2013 | Featured 1, News
WINNING: Progressive Youth Alliance member Shafee Verachia got the most votes in the SRC elections this year. Photo: Mia Swart
By Emelia Motsai and Ray Mahlaka
Project W has been having unofficial “preliminary” meetings with the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) ahead of a meeting to talk about creating an “SRC that works”.
Project W’s Jamie Mighti (@thenextbarack) said a constitutional meeting on Monday would decide who gets what portfolio, so they could come up with a “winning team”.
Mighti said the PYA seemed sincere and interested in helping students, so he felt positive and confident about working together.
Of the 15 seats available on the SRC, the PYA got eight and Project W got seven seats.
Another four positions are indirectly elected and are held by the PYA.
During election campaigning there was often tension between the two organisations.
PYA and Project W SRC members have vowed to put their differences aside and put student issues first.
The top election vote-getter and PYA member Shafee Verachia (@ShafMysta) said they would work with Project W.
“We will have to put personal interests aside and work together. I have faith in working with Project W. We will work hard with Project W,” Verachia told Wits Vuvuzela.
He said he would be happy to serve in any portfolio his organisation decided on.
Mighti also said he would be happy with any portfolio but “I would like to work in academics”.
After the constitutional meeting the new SRC members will shadow the current SRC until they take office in November.
WITH GALLERY: SRC election results – PYA gets a wakeup call, August 30
VIDEO: Wits SRC election Results 2013, August 30
by Emelia Motsai | Aug 30, 2013 | Featured 1, News
Article by Emelia Motsai and Ray Mahlaka. Gallery by Mfuneko Toyana
Project W has broken the Progressive Youth Alliance’s (PYA) winning streak by scooping seven of the 15 SRC seats.
The results of the 2013 SRC elections were announced today at the Wits Great Hall piazza.
Newcomers Project W got almost half the seats on the SRC. Last year PYA won 14 of the 15 seats, losing only one seat to an independent candidate.
In 2011 they won all the seats on the SRC. The percentage of students who voted in this year was 24%, a 3.5% increase from last year.
Election results paper with candidates and the number of votes recieved. Page 1
Election results paper with candidates and the number of votes recieved. Page 2
Reactions from organisations
While the PYA narrowly maintains its majority on the SRC, with only eight seats, their shock was evident.
“They got seven seats,” said current SRC external Joy Phiri (@Joy_Phiri) who is a PYA member right after the results were announced.
Project W’s Jamie Mighti (@thenextbarack) said the votes reflected what students wanted.
“The students have voted, we’ve introduced democracy and excitement around politics in the university,” said Mighti.
When his name was announced in eighth position Mighti walked across the Great Hall stairs to where PYA members were standing and mocked them. They booed him in response.
[pullquote]“The students have voted, we’ve introduced democracy and excitement around politics in the university”[/pullquote]
PYA’s Shafee Verachia (@ShafMysta) the incumbent SRC academic officer got most of the votes. He garnered 2967 votes, 3.6 % of the total votes. PYA supporters cheered loudly when this was announced.
“I’m quite happy, PYA will pride its self in serving students,” said Verachia.
None of the Democratic Alliance Student Organisation (Daso) candidates made it in to the top 15, the first of their candidates came in at number 31 with 945 votes.
“We gave up half way through,” said Daso’s Dikeledi Selowa (@DK_Selowa) who was visibly upset.
University registar Kirti Menon made the announcement of the results. Menon said the results were fair and free and she congratulated all the candidates, even those who did not make it.
Students react to results
Students who were interviewed by Wits Vuvuzela did not seem to have a problem with the results.
“Project W will sharpen the PYA. We should be celebrating, we have sound leaders. I’m happy with the SRC results said,” Mcebo Sisulu.
Another student said he would have liked to see a 100% PYA SRC but he was ok with the results: “it’s a wake-up call [for PYA], as long as there is representation on both sides.”
Verachia said he was happy that there was more diversity in the SRC: “We will work hard with Project W to serve students.”
Mighti also said a functional SRC was possible even if it was run by Project W and PYA members. “It won’t be broken, it will work,” he said. The New SRC will begin its term on November 1.
The Wits SRC 2013/2014
1. Shafee Verachia – PYA
2. Angeliki Vidalis – PYA
3. Nelson Maunatlala – PYA
4. Jabulile Mabuza – Project W
5. Jarred Hart – Project W
6. Kay Mlaba – Project W
7. Ethan Genende – Project W
8. Jamie Mighti – Project W
9. Michlene Mongae – PYA
10. Gerry Comninos – Project W
11. Paul Ndiweni – PYA
12. Avigal Cutler – Project W
13. Kabelo Ngwenya – PYA
14. Sarah Mokwebo – PYA
15. Shoki Masha – PYA