A special parliamentary meeting was held last Thursday 3 March to vote for a motion of no con? dence against the Secretary General of the student representative council (SRC), Katlego Malatji.The complaint was brought against him by members of parliament who remained unnamed during proceedings.
A summary of the complaint against the Secretary General (SG) include his misconduct in a parliamentary meeting and his failure to execute some mandatory administrative duties of SG such as the distribution of SRC minutes to parliament (according to section 48(d) of the parliamentary constitution).
Members of parliament described Malatji’s behaviour as “hostile and big-headed.” According to them, it was clear that Malatji’s arrogance in parliament was beyond repair and unbecoming of the office of SG.
“We view the SG’s behaviour as being … contradictory to the mandate of the SRC,” they concluded.In response to the allegations of misconduct Malatjie presented parliament with an official apology. He also noted that according to section 24(1) of the constitution if any member of parliament does not accept his apology, they should file a complaint with the Dean of Students.
He then proceeded to explain the technical difficulties that hindered him from performing his duties, namely that the new Click-UP system made it impossible for him to make the minutes available.
In a speech to parliament, Malatji stated that the week leading up to the parliamentary meeting had seen “political conniving of the first degree,” suggesting that members of parliament worked to sway other members to vote against him. Parliament then broke out into lively and vocal dynamic debate about allegations from Malatji’s side that in the week prior to the meeting, certain personalities lobbied members of parliament to vote in favour of the motion against him.
According to Andrew Masombuke, Chairperson of Xayata and parliamentarian, such lobbying is part of the democratic processes among students and is part of politics.
“I am aware of this and I have no problem with it,” said Masombuka.After various disputes among parliamentarians concerning quorum (the necessary amount of parliamentarians sitting in order to declare any motion valid) technicalities, voting to pass the motion started.
Of the 43 parliamentarians that voted, 20 voted for the motion and 23 voted against it. Malatjie therefore remains in his office.
According to Mosumbuka, members of parliament did not vote out of principle but out of loyalty to a coalition between various organisations in parliament. “I am very disappointed,” said Mosumbuka, “If this is how parliament will be run, I don’t see a future.
”Malatji said that the questions of conduct raised against him are not grounds for a motion of no confidence. According to him, the motion against him is a personal attack by members of parliament with other political ambitions.
“But none of this is in the best interest of the students. I do not wish to be pompous about the issue, but continue to work hand in hand with parliament,” said Malatji.