Varsity toasts first female leader

The University of Limpopo has elected its first female leader to lead the institution’s student representative council (SRC) in its 61-year history.

Sekedi Mabatha, a 22-year-old agricultural economics honours student, was introduced to students on Wednesday during the virtual inauguration of the 2020/21 Transitional SRC
(TSRC) elections. The elections could not take place due to COVID-19 restrictions, and instead management and student structures nominated members to serve on the TSRC.

Mabatha, who is a member of the EFF Student Command, will lead a TSRC that consists of seven members from different student structures. The EFF Student Command had won last year’s elections and its term had ended.

The red berets led the University of Limpopo in 2016 and 2017 before losing to the South African Students Congress in 2018.

Speaking to Sunday World, Mabatha said she was grateful and felt honoured to be the first female president in 61 years, adding that she is ready to represent the students.

She said her priority is to address the challenge of a lack of space in a number of courses, accommodation and exclusion from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.

Mabatha said: “Since we are in the new normal [COVID-19] and transforming to online learning, I’m going to push for all students to receive necessary tools [gadgets and data] to enable them to take part in online learning with ease.

“Also, the ones repatriated back will supply them with PPE [personal protective equipment] so that they guard themselves against the virus. I will also visit the laboratory to check what is missing there, and make sure that labs are fully equipped for smooth running of practical sessions.

She added: “The University of Limpopo is capable of producing leaders, therefore, students should be provided with good service, not just empty promises. Under the newly appointed TSRC, proper service delivery is going to be prioritised.”

Other members of the council are Kabelo Noko, Tebello Somo, Jonas Moshoeu, Godfrey Molepo, Dorothy Makhura and Hopewell Mathonsi.

Professor Mahlo Mokgalong, the vice-chancellor, urged the incoming student leadership to respect the constitution that put them in office and resist to  operate outside of it.

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