Monday, March 14, 2011

PASMA TUT Sosh Elects New Executive and Plans Recruitment Drive

PASMA Gauteng Chair, Terrance Ditlake, addressing delegates
during the movements election in TUT Soshanguve

Sthembiso Sithole

Close to 100 Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (PASMA) members attended the elections of their new executive at the Tshwane University of Technology’s (TUT) Soshanguve South Campus on Friday.

The main objective of the gathering was to nominate the new chairperson of TUT Soshanguve branch and the academic exclusion of some of their members by the university. Just like in South Africa’s municipal elections it seems as if issues of gender imbalances are at the top of the student movement’s agenda.

“I pray that the leadership to be elected today, gender will be gender equal,” said Terence Ditlake, PASMA’s Gauteng chairperson.

The outgoing chairperson of the branch, Bongani Dladla addressed the challenges faced during his tenure in office. One of the delegates wanted to know the reasons behind the reduction of exective seats from six to four and Dladla explained it by saying the dynamics of the campus were never the same as those of others and defended the need to reduce these seats.

He also complained of university management interference in the body. “Comrades were reinstated with fear by the management; therefore we could not have programmes.” He further continued to say that some comrades were no longer willing to participate in the programmes of the movement.

PASMA was suspended in the university last year following their involvement in a strike against what they saw as “unfair” academic and financial exclusions of students by the NSFAS and TUT. The strike had a huge impact at the Soshanguve campus and led to some students evicted from the residences. He says this will not deter them to work hard in future though.

“PASMA has always existed in higher institutions fighting for free education, non-racialism, non- sexism and free and compulsory education. Our role is to mobilise and strive for high education,” said Dladla.

The organisation says it will now embark on a recruitment process in order to grow within the university.

“Recruiting students from religious places (sic) and soccer fields will take the movement forward,” said the newly elected chairperson, Ofentse Moanakoena.

“PASMA stands to protect all issues that are affecting the students,” he said.

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