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Oh my this is awkward. Having to tell you who I am is a whole ordeal because I am still trying to figure that out myself lol. The most I know at this point is that, I am an unhinged hillbilly from a small town in Northern Kwa-Zulu Natal; My first love had “Petronella” as a middle name (gross right?); I will on occasion get dressed in a onesie, using my red blankie as a cape to live out my fantasy of being the caped crusader of justice: Captain Tanuki; Finally, I have an obsession with owls that should get its own section in the DSM-V. On that owl thing, I feel like in one of my many past lives as a shrew somewhere in the world, I met my end to one of those majestic birds and that specific bird reincarnated as my first love who, at the time of writing, has not killed me…yet! Talk about a circle of life, neh. My goals? Well right now, I have but one very simple goal: to be the best human I can possibly be. Achieving that would make a hillbilly like me, a better person and growth is always good. My time at the paper has made sure I stay on this path. Should a lost soul wanting to know about the paper, stumbles across this bio, I want you to know that I will totally be a radically different person in the best way possible. Who knows, I might have reincarnated as an owl, by then.

On 22 May, PDBY was approached by the chairpersons of various societies explaining their grievances with the current SRC societies portfolio officer, Karabo Mogale. The issues with Mogale have culminated in a series of complaints which include the following: a rude disposition in interactions with students, posting images of a topless woman on the SRC’s societies sub-committee group, a pending matter with the Constitutional Tribunal and allegations of corruption against Mogale about the registration of societies. Specifically, Mogale’s registration of the EFFSC UP, despite their failure to fulfil the eligibility requirements to register as a society has been brought into question. PDBY investigates the turbulent dynamic between Mogale and societies in a series of interviews with the following: the chairperson of the Palestinian Solidarity Committee (PSC), Meara Pillay; the chairperson of Students for Law and Social Justice (SLSJ), Boris Mukwambo; and the chairperson of the Socialist Youth Movement (SYM), Cameron Rodrigues

Whose boobs are those – Understanding Mogale’s communication style

Mogale has been accused of being rude to students from various societies while exercising her duties as the societies portfolio officer. In screenshots sent to PDBY of the “2022 Society Sub- council” WhatsApp group, Mogale antagonised students in this group in March. When a student requested that Mogale refrain from blocking students on her WhatsApp, she responded, “are you mad because I ghosted you last year?” In the same group, Mukwambo expressed issues related to the acquiring of venues for society events, explaining that they found themselves in this predicament because, “communication wasn’t done properly.” Mogale stated, “I can’t run my portfolio based on your society… Consider the communication I sent final.” However, tensions on the WhatsApp group peaked when a screenshot Mogale sent to the group featured her WhatsApp wallpaper background, which featured the picture of a topless woman in underwear. When group members asked Mogale to remove the image, as they had found it offensive, she responded, “It’s not the 2023 sub-council, people can do whatever they like.”

The events described above led to Mukwambo instituting proceedings against Mogale with the Constitutional Tribunal. When asked to comment on the above matter with the SLSJ, Mogale stated, “Again, the matter between me and SLSJ is sub- judice. However, I have always been of the idea that when one offends people anyhow, they must apologise for as long as both parties’ beliefs and freedom of expression are not compromised. The issue would not hurt the office, as it occurred in an informal group in my personal capacity.” However, her responding form for adjudication was leaked to PDBY, and in response to the charge of ‘circulating pornographic content’ Mogale stated, “[I] believe it to be an objectification and sexualisation of women, which I am willing to issue out a verbal apology… to those who were in the 2022 sub-council group.”

Ancillary to the matter with SLSJ is an incident involving Rodrigues, who was looking into matters regarding SYM, Tuks for Climate Justice and United Nations Association of South Africa (UNASA). Mogale’s demeanour toward her triggered a panic response and sent Rodrigues spiralling into a panic attack. Rodrigues explained, “The first time, she was just very off with me…On the day where I gave her everything and everything was fine… then she asked where was the POA, which was in our constitution, and she requested it be submitted separately, just hours before it was due. And she was aggressive.” Reflecting on this, Rodrigues said, “She p*ssed me off.” The interactions are not limited to Mogale simply being antagonistic in her interactions with students, but her communications to societies are often regarded as not being timeous. Pillay explained, “Before registration, communication was so bad. We only found out on the day of, that certain documents had to be submitted by this time, and at times the [scheduled] time would have already passed.” Mogale explained that they were supposed to know about these dates already; however, Pillay responded, “How Swae? We never got any emails from marketing week up until we were registered.”When asked to share her overall experience with Mogale and the societies portfolio, Pillay explained, “She’s another one, she’s just inefficient.”

Possible abuse of powers – Registration mayhem

Finally, a massive point of controversy that has yet to see a resolution is the matter concerning the registration process. PDBY reviewed the list of registered societies with Mogale’s office and found inconsistencies that are cause for concern, especially with returning societies. Mogale’s office requires returning societies to submit a managerial report to be allowed to register their societies for the 2023 period. In two spreadsheets PDBY reviewed, it is noted that the EFFSC UP had not submitted a managerial report for the previous year, and other societies that had not submitted the managerial report were cited as rejected and thus could not register. This raises concern as Mogale is a member of the EFFSC UP and ran under the organisation for the office she currently holds. When asked to respond to the above, Mogale explained, “You seem to have the wrong facts on the registration processes.” Mogale proceeded by attaching an email dated 4 May 2023, wherein she explained that the matter was rectified and the EFFSC UP was unable to register. However, this stands in stark contradiction to the evidence received by PDBY, as that was the official spreadsheet as of 23 May 2023. In addition, internal sources within the Department of Student Affairs have confirmed that Mogale has approached the Constitutional Tribunal seeking an advisory opinion on whether she can register the EFFSC UP without their managerial report.When asked if there was a message that she would like to send out to the student body, Mogale stated, “At all times, I am available to be held accountable by the student body, and my office hours and contact details are public.”