EFF leader Julius Malema has vowed to challenge the decision by the University of Pretoria (UP) to disqualify its EFF Student Command (EFFSC), which won 10 out of 19 seats in the recent student representative council (SRC) elections.
Malema said the decision to disqualify the student arm of the EFF was an indicator of what was to come in next year’s national and provincial elections.
“The courts and everyone else must not allow a group of individuals to circumvent the wishes of the people. If we allow it at universities, it will visit us in communities,” he told Sunday World.
The EFFSC candidate for president received a total of 4 450 votes. The ANC-aligned South African Students Congress (Sasco) candidate, who was declared the winner following the disqualification, won 1 705 votes. In the safety, and security portfolio, the EFFSC candidate was elected unopposed.
The university said its independent monitoring body (IMB) disqualified the EFFSC for contravening student governance regulations.
University spokesperson Rikus Delport said the EFFSC violated specific sections of the constitution of student governance (CSG).
“These breaches include, but are not limited to, the unauthorised use of posters not issued by the independent electoral committee (IEC) and improper placement of posters on poles, fences, and lampposts – all of which are violations prohibited by the CSG,” said Delport.
“Additionally, they failed to affix stickers issued by the IEC on posters, as required by university poster regulations,” he said.
Delport said a disciplinary process was underway against the students who were disqualified by the IMB during the SRC election.
He said the university was aware of attempts by the EFFSC to initiate legal action against it.
“The university remains fully committed to defending its position in this matter,” he said.
Malema said: “The EFFSC won. They used some rules to undermine the voice of the students. The EFFSC must not allow that.”
He said when the EFFSC was campaigning, white students were making monkey sounds and calling black students the k-word.
“The EFFSC responded rightfully so because racism is violence and can only be resolved by violence. The students of UP agreed with the EFFSC through giving them votes,” he said.
“So, these former white universities are in denial that the EFF is in charge and that the EFF is emerging,” he said.
Delport said the varsity was not aware of any incident of racism on campus.
“We are not aware of such incidents occurring on campus. We are, however, aware of videos circulating depicting a small group of individuals involved in a brawl that appeared to be racially motivated, occurring in the Hatfield area.
“It is unclear whether any of the individuals involved were students or whether this was reported to authorities. As this incident took place off-campus, the university’s direct control over the matter is limited,” he said.
Malema said the SRC elections at universities were an indicator of where the country was headed.
“The EFFSC is just showing us where we are going. There’s no party that has ever won (elections) at institutions of higher learning and never governed in the future,” he said,
The EFFSC won elections in 10 out of 26 public universities in the country. At Wits, the student body won 10 out of 13 seats.