Rasethaba also acknowledged that parking for students is an ongoing issue and that parking is affected by the City of Tshwane’s developments. He encouraged students to seek parking in Hatfield Square and The Fields. Residence food costs were also discussed. Rasethaba said that negotiations to make food more affordable were ongoing. He explained that a “pay per portion” system had now been implemented and that this has reduced prices. He also indicated that essential items have been prioritised as items that should carry a low mark-up. In addition to this, Rasethaba raised the issue of Katjiepiering closing down as a residence. He reported that the closing of the residence had been put on hold for a year, allowing time for a plan to be made. An LGBTI awareness week in support of the LGBTI community was announced. The event will run from 14-18 September. Rasethaba reported on the Mobile SRC initiative and its progress during the year. He said that the initiative had not been as successful as anticipated and suffered because SRC members did not make themselves available. However, he said that the initiative had been met with very positive feedback when implemented. He highlighted Onderstepoort campus as the campus that their engagement had been highly impactful on. Linking to this, Rasethaba said that an investigation into SRC availability was ongoing. He said that the SRC needed to wear their uniform and merchandise on campus more often to be more visible. He also reported that the DSA clickUP tab was now functional and that the SRC webpage had been updated. Rasethaba also mentioned that Open Day had been beneficial in connecting with future UP students and also helped facilitate UP pride. He mentioned Varsity Sport activations as another effective means of cultivating UP pride this year.

Rasethaba concluded his report and the Forum proceeded to the question and answer session. It was at this point that the members of the floor started disrupting the proceedings. Members of the floor wanted to know why questions would not be taken during the session. chief justice of the Constitutional Tribunal Sanan Mirzoyev explained that questions asked during the question and answer sessions needed to be submitted at least 48 hours in advance. Mirzoyev acknowledged members of floor’s dissatisfaction with the format of Student Forum, but also explained that the Student Forum is about transparency. Mirzoyev explained that Student Forum is not a debate but a discussion and that the point of the forum is for the SRC to report back on what they’ve done in order to be held accountable. He went on to say that, according to the Student Governance Constitution (SGC), a mass meeting can be requested, and if denied, demanded, by individuals where the focus is on asking questions and demanding answers from the SRC. The floor continued to ask questions and demanded to know why financial reports were not being presented. Mirzoyev explained that according to the SGC, the SRC were not obliged to present the financial reports at the Forum. Some members of the floor, including many members of Sasco, did not accept this answer and left the venue. However, other members of the floor continued to make noise at the back of the venue. The first question of the question and answer session was posed to Duke Rasebopye by Afriforum and asked if there were plans for a UP Spring Day event and if the event would be financially viable. Rasebopye’s answer was largely distorted by the growing commotion in the venue, however he managed to explain that no event had been planned for this year and that the SRC and university management had clashed over the issue of allowing non-UP students to attend. The SRC argued that opening the event to non-UP students meant that the event would not run at as great a loss than if only UP students were allowed entrance. However, UP management were persistent in not allowing non-UP students to attend. Rasebopye also said that there were now ongoing discussions, which include a plan for a future UP Spring Day event. The growing commotion included members of the floor, many of them in EFFSC-UP uniforms, calling repetitively for points of clarity and points of order, as well as members of the floor standing up and moving around. Mirzoyev disallowed these appeals as they were not in line with the SGC. Mirzoyev called for order several times, eventually threatening to close the Forum if order was not restored. After a few more appeals, he dissolved the Forum. Many members of the floor continued to make a noise and move around the venue as the panel and SRC vacated the venue. During this ongoing commotion, the intimidation and assault of photographer Bradley Duck commenced. A mass meeting to address the financial report, among other issues, has subsequently been planned and the date is to be announced.

 

Photo: Mothusi Masibi