MARGEAUX ERASMUS

AfriForum Youth UP released a controversial pamphlet on Monday 26 March with the caption “DASO spring met SASCO/ANCYL in die kooi.” Translated the sentence reads: DASO jumps into bed with SASCO/ANCYL. The pamphlet uses a cartoon spoofing a photo used on one of DASO’s 2012 “In our future” posters, showing a white and a black man standing with their bodies close together. AfriForums’ cartoon depicts a white man embracing a black man. On their shoulders are tattoos of the DASO and SASCO logo’s respectively. The information supplied on the back of the pamphlet maintains that DASO and SASCO formed an alliance in order to create a SASCO/ANCYL dominated SRC. AfriForum Youth UP Chairperson, Liza-Mari Coetzee, told Perdeby that AfriForum simply wanted to inform students that DASO acted unethically by breaking an official arrangement between AfriForum and DASO when they supported “pro-ANC candidates” at the SRC elections on 8 March. Barend Taute, AfriForum Youth UP’s Public Relations Officer, similarly said that AfriForum Youth’s basic aim with the pamphlet was to get the truth out to students. According to Coetzee, “Cope admitted that they met several times with ANC Youth League/SASCO members and DASO before the constituting meeting.” Tokologo Ngakane, SASCO Chairperson, said, “The content on the pamphlet is very misleading and very untrue. [AfriForum Youth is making] a claim once again that the SRC is dominated by SASCO members.” She said that AfriForum must stop undermining student parliament and the SRC. “[F]or the first time in the history of this university [we see] a somewhat more inclusive SRC. It seems that [something is only] “inclusive” to AfriForum when their members form [a] majority part of [the] SRC and other people are put in only to fill the required Race quota” Ngakane said. DASO Chairperson, Thorne Godinho, said, “The pamphlet brings to light many false accusations: DASO is not in a coalition with SASCO, and we believe that the statement that a vote for the DA is a vote for the ANC is quite a ridiculous statement in light of the DA’s principled opposition against the ANC in Parliament and elsewhere.” Godinho believes that AfriForum Youth published this pamphlet because they are upset about the terrible position they’ve been placed in by fellow Student Parliamentarians. “But AfriForum must realise that only they are to blame for this; putting forward a candidate (Nikke Strydom) who sympathises with Apartheid will obviously have a negative effect on their support,” he said. According to Godinho moderate students do not support such extreme politics, and he said that AfriForum wants to deflect this issue in order to prevent losing voters, “who did not know they would be voting for racism and division on campus [if they vote for AfriForum Youth].” Gerbrand Lindeque, the Vice President of the SRC, told Perdeby, “As an independent SRC member I am astonished by the lack of correct information portrayed in the pamphlet. Statements that a certain group dominate the SRC is false, as the current SRC is an all inclusive SRC where all student groups and societies are represented.” According to Jordan Griffiths, who is a DASO member and member of the new SRC, “[T]here are numerous false claims in the AfriForum pamphlet which need to be addressed. AfriForum believe that DASO worked with SASCO. This I find amusing because in my possession I have a copy of the AfriForum voting list for parliament. On the AfriForum proposed list there were three SASCO names which means that AfriForum was in fact working with SASCO.” “How come out of the top four executive seats that were contested on the SRC, AfriForum decided not to contest the Secretary General seat? The Secretary General position was the only seat that SASCO has managed to occupy. Hence if DASO was working with SASCO why is it that they would only accept one seat from us when they could have had three seats from AfriForum[?]” he asks. Charl Oberholzer, AfriForum Youth’s National Chairperson, denies this, “AfriForum Youth tried to establish an inclusive SRC with the buy in of all societies and constituencies, including Residences, Day Houses, DASO, UPI, COPE, Genesis, VF+, TCSF, SASCO and several Independents. The inclusion of SASCO was requested by DASO, most societies agreed that everyone should be included as to ensure a legitimate SRC. AfriForum Youth’s aim was to ensure that all students are represented and at the same time ensure that SASCO or ANC-affiliated candidates do not dominate the SRC,” he said. SRC President, Mthokozisi Nkosi, said: “They [AfriForum Youth] have gone into dirty politics. No other society has gone this far when it comes to playing dirty and it is ironic that a society that claims to be non-political [is] playing such a dirty political game.” “They don’t realise that they are alienating students who were becoming more interested in student politics because they [now] see it as a dirty game. I really think it [the pamphlet] was very childish and not well thought [out] and that it will backfire on them, if it hasn’t already.” The University of Pretoria told Perdeby that “The University is satisfied that a legitimate SRC was properly elected.” The university said that the composition of the SRC is diverse and forms a sound basis for it to fulfil its role in enhancing transformation and integration at UP. “The University Management is of the view that any campaigns to undermine the credibility of specific organisations, individuals or structures are counter-productive, inherently divisive and do not contribute positively to student life and institutional culture,” the university said.

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