The election process separated the societies into five categories (religious, political, social, academic, and other) where representatives of the various societies were voted into the Student Forum. Each category was limited to three seats in the Student Forum and the election procedure only allowed one person per society to vote. Werner Beineke, AfriForum’s deputy chairperson, explained that AfriForum rejects the Student Forum because it is unconstitutional to allow only one person per group to vote and that the correct constitutional procedures were not followed. Daso also believes that this voting system was unfair and lacks credibility. Sean Janse, Daso’s secretary, told Perdeby that there was no independent officer to count the votes.
When Perdeby spoke to the EFF, Daso and the ANCYL, all three parties agreed that the meeting was unprepared, disorganised and poorly planned. Evidence of this is that the election procedure was only determined at the meeting. Zwanyi Mohale, ANCYL deputy chairperson, said that the voting procedure was unclear and showcased the poor planning evident as it caused confusion around the election. Janse also criticised the fact that there was no vote to decide on the election procedure.
Both the EFF and Daso identified the constitution as the problem. Jaco Oelofse, EFF secretary, said “there was not enough clarity around the matter.” The problem for Daso is the constitution’s lack of provision for voting procedures and delegation of voting powers.
For Oelofse, however, the newly elected Student Forum is good as it is “a bit more left-leaning, which means that students’ issues might keep being addressed”. However, Janse feels that the elected Student Forum “is not a free and democratic [one]”. Consequently, Daso has called for a re-election and for the constitution’s problems to be addressed.
Political societies gathered in the piazza. Photo: Charlotte Bastiaanse