The gloves are off as Student Representative Council campaigns begin at the Tshwane University of Technology’s Soshanguve campuses.
On 21 October 2010 the main political parties were throwing insults at each other as they were delivering their election manifestos. In 2010 these campuses did not have a representative council after a court order disbanded all political activity at the beginning of the year due to violent student protests, but Thursday shows that insults are still the norm here.
The main two political parties, the South African Student Congress (SASCO) which is a student leg of the African National Congress (ANC) and the Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (PASMA) which is part of the Pan Africanist Congress burnt coffins with each other’s T-shirts on them.
During the manifesto delivery the two used the stage to highlight each other’s previous alleged corruption and failure to lead. Intimidation was used with SASCO singing songs like: “Babekuphi labantu ngomzabalazo?” (Where were these people during the struggle?)
The two giants shared the stage with the Inkatha Freedom Party’s SADESMO, United Democratic Movement (UDESMO), the Student Christian Organisation, the Congress of the People’s COPSSA, NADESCO, and AZAPO.
All the political parties made promises of free education, camera installations to minimise security officers, cheaper cafeteria food and much more.
Earlier in the week students were allowed to wear their preferred party t-shirts, displaying banners and the singing of mother party revolutionary songs. This often takes place from around 16h00 to 22h00 every day.
Some students feel the excitement is a huge inconvenience.Nomsa Siyemela, a first year student says she never thought these events would be this serious and dramatic. She also adds that students who want to lead others often make empty promises just so they can be put into power.
This institution has seen a lot of political drama in its strike ‘subculture’ over the year, but potential leaders say the year 2011 promises to be a good one where everything will be done professionally and for the benefit of all students. Hopefully the 2011 Student Representative Council will be just that.