During the past week student leaders at the University of Pretoria (UP) were up in arms following the appointment of an interim student representative council, while the results of last year’s student parliament elections were still being withheld, AfriForum today said.
"The student representative council was appointed in secret and without consultation with the students. In addition, UP included several Sasco members in this body, notwithstanding the fact that this group had failed to win seats in the student representative council (SRC) for the past two years," Charl Oberholzer, AfriForum Youth’s national chairman said.
"Students are upset about the way in which UP succumbs to ANC affiliated organisations such as Sasco, and are insisting that last year’s results be announced. What is happening, can be described as the Zanufication of Tuks, although not even Zimbabwe took that long to announce its election results", Oberholzer said.
Towards the end of last year, AfriForum Youth brought a court application against UP’s decision not to announce the results but to announce a re-election. This announcement by UP followed in the wake of a threat letter it received from the student organisation, Sasco. According to this letter, Sasco would reject the election results and would make the campus "ungovernable". The principal, Prof. Cheryl de la Rey, then referred the matter of a free and fair election to the dean of students, whereafter the announcement of a re-election was made.
The court application will be heard on 17 February in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court. Oberholzer says that with this court case AfriForum Youth hopes to reinstate the students’ vote and to constitute a legitimate student representative council.
"UP is extremely partial towards ANC affiliated associations and with the current issues surrounding student parliament elections it has simply reached boiling point," Oberholzer said.
There is every indication that AfriForum Youth’s support had increased during the past election, whereas Sasco’s support had seemingly dwindled.
Statement issued by Charl Oberholzer, AfriForum Youth national chairperson, January 25 2012