The Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) at Wits has finally lost its grip on power, even after desperately attempting unethical means during the elections. The victor, Wits EFF Student Command, says it is coming to fight back for the students – unlike PYA which according to them was “sleeping in the same duvet with management”.
After many years of uttering the same narrative and ideology of PYA, an SRC-elect and member of EFFSC at Wits, Sivuyile Mhatu, said the students “are finally willing to cross the river of Jordan”.
Today, EFF Student Command should have sworn into office by giving an oath that they will be fulfilling the will of the students, and with dignity serve the role of the SRC. But that did not happen, it has been postponed to the 27th of October 2017.
The National President of EFFSC, Peter Keetse, said that PYA was “MRC and not SRC. We are not Management Representative Council (MRC).”
“We believe they (Wits students) have never had an SRC. There is a difference between MRC and SRC. If students say tomorrow we are shutting down, we will do so,” Keetse said.
“PYA is sleeping in the same duvet with the management. [Wits’ Vice Chancellor, Adam] Habib can’t tolerate us. I don’t know what he’s thinking now because we are not his friends. We are there to represent our students; that’s all. You are going to see a new caliber of SRC,” he added.
After winning 12 seats out of 15, the EFFSC aims to radically transform the institution by blackening it a bit. The Wits EFFSC said the tune that used to be played and danced must be changed.
The EFFSC plans on fighting for free education and equality for black students in the institution. For those who have graduated but could not receive their completion certificates due to outstanding debts, the student-party plans to eliminate the stumbling block that is holding these students legitimate proof of completion.
“Students know why they voted for us and we will not change our politics (sic) for the minority . . . white people must know that this is not 1952,” an SRC-elect and member of the EFFSC at Wits, Sivuyile Mhatu said. “The feelings of Habib at this point in time are irrelevant; what matters are the feelings of students and their needs.”
The National spokesperson of EFFSC, Mangaliso Sambo, said the most pressing issue for students at Wits and nearby is the shortage and the ever-increasing rates of accommodations.
According to Sambo, the ever-increasing rates of student accommodations act as another way of making sure that a black child is ripped off a chance to live in a decent accommodation when studying.
Sambo said that the EFFSC at Wits will be expropriating abandoned buildings because “those buildings are palaces for drug lords whereas they can be palaces for the students”.
The National President of EFFSC, Peter Keetse said, “Part of the things that made us find hegemony is because of the academic excellence of our leaders . . . you cannot just follow illiterate people while you are at Wits.”
“We must not shy away from the fact that the SC (Student Command) at Wits has been active like it was the SRC, yet it is just a structure,” he added.