As student organisations gear up with campaigns for student representative council (SRC) elections at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) scheduled for August 27, blame game politics between the Economic Freedom Fighters Students Command (EFFSC) and the South African Students Congress continue.
The Durban University of Technology will be hosting its annual elections on August 27 and party politics continue to be at play at the institution.
For months now, the current SRC occupying office, which is led by the EFFSC, has been at loggerheads with the former SRC; and while this is nothing new at the institution the squabbles between the two are intense.
Elections are two weeks away from now and EFFSC is still hell bent on showing a united front, which has constantly been a driving force for the organisation’s momentum.
History of Sasco at DUT
Sasco has historically dominated and reigned at DUT, but infighting, divisions and factional battles resulted in waning public support, as students complained that the organisation was failing to support them in various struggles.
All this seemed to be happening at the right time just when the EFFSC was gaining its momentum during the time of activist Bonginkosi Khanyile, who capitalised on the Fees Must Fall by leading at the forefront of the masses. This was the beginning of the downfall of Sasco and eventually, their own squabbles diverted students’ attention from the organisation.
Red berets at DUT did not become popular overnight. Since the 2016 Fees Must Fall period, they became a strong force whose numbers started growing drastically. Although they couldn’t take victory between 2016 and 2017, the future was always bright and victory was certain; and eventually they took power in 2018.
Campaigns have begun and the blame game has begun.
EFFSC accused Sasco of plotting against them using students. Like general politics, student politics have lost their plot when it comes to campaigning, using vulnerable students and their predicaments to lobby for votes has long become a thing.
A screenshot said to be fake is circulating on the SRC page and has started fueling tensions. In the picture, Sasco members are seen on their WhatsApp group confessing to having conspired with the management to manipulate allowance disbursements; but Sasco has refuted the claims.
In July, the Daily Vox reported about the EFFSC’s claims of conspiracy between Sasco and the constitution’s management; a move that was dubbed politically driven by Sasco.
Speaking to Sasco’s Zola Mzimela, he said the EFFsc would do anything to stay in power as they approach elections, and that this was one of the tactics to keep students’ faith in them.
Mzimela said that the EFFSC was using this as a strategy to taint their image as Sasco ahead of elections.
“EFFSC is failing to take the blame for their failure to fix the issues relating to student allowances and are using this to diminish our image ahead of elections. We eid accept the blame when the same thing happened during our tenure, why can’t they do the same? Instead they are telling students that allowances are in Clermont. It doesn’t make sense,” Mzimela said.
Future of EFFSC
The future of the EFFSC continue to look bright as more students are convinced that they are doing their job. However, their fave, SRC president Sesiyanda Godlimpi remains suspended making unfit to contest this year’s elections for presidency.
Although EFFsc has over the past few months, shown a united front, Godlimpi remains the pillar whose influence has helped the organisation sustain its unity. So, even if the organisation retains its reign for second term, whoever gets to be expected the president might not hold it together as much as Godlimpi did.
As organisations look forward to the elections, this year’s election will be the determinant of the currently problem stricken Sasco. Only the numbers will tell if they are ready to take over the institution again.
Featured image by Lizeka Maduna