Saki Macozoma’s election flawed and undemocratic



19 March 2008

The Student Representative Council (SRC) of the University of the Witwatersrand, has noted with deep disappointment the so-called “recent election process” which resulted in the alleged unanimous election of Mr. Macozoma as chairperson of the University’s Council. We wish to categorically state that Mr. Macozoma’s “election” as chairperson of council was undemocratic, non-principled and illegitimate.

The SRC has neither received a formal communication on the recent resignation of Justice Cameron nor the call for nominations thereafter. The SRC president, as a student member to council, was unlawfully deprived of such information and deliberately kept in the dark by the senior management. The SRC is outraged by the well-calculated exclusion of its president in the whole election process. The SRC declares the election process not only flawed but unconstitutional and undemocratic because one of its members, SRC President, was deliberately deprived of information and unduly excluded from the election process itself. Those at the helm of this nonprocedural and undemocratic election correctly feared that the SRC would extensively destabilise their plans to put Macozoma as chairperson of council.

The SRC President, in his capacity as council member, has since written to the secretary of council and university registrar Dr. Swemmer demanding an immediate re-opening of the election process and respect of the university policy. We await a response to our demand.

We have established beyond reasonable doubt that Mr. Macozoma’s election is a direct result of Justice Cameron’s manipulations. In fact, his resignation was resolved at a meeting attended by Vice-Chancellor Nongxa and businessman Macozoma. In his resignation letter, sent to some council members, Cameron announces that “Mr Macozoma will make himself available for nomination”. How on earth can a resignation letter indicate a preferred successor to occupy a democratic position? It is so unfair and pestilent to those who might be interested in succeeding him. That Cameron has interfered with appointments of senior office bearers and staff members of the university is confirmed. The brutal firing of our beloved and dearly missed progressive Prof. Norma Reid was a result of the continued interferences and witch-hunt of Cameron.

The SRC’s exclusion from the process further entrenches the existing view that the University of the Witwatersrand is under the leadership of a recycled clique prepared to do anything, procedural or non-procedural, to achieve its self-mandated goals. That the management of Wits University is apathetic to open, constructive and frank debates unless faced with a popular mass student protest is becoming evident. Mass student protests will continue to be the order of the day until management shows interest to open, frank and honest discussions with student leadership.

For more information please contact SRC President, Themba Masondo, at 079 199 3421 or masondothemba@gmail.com

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