The Democratic Alliance Students Organisation (DASO) won a landslide victory in the student elections which were held at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University yesterday.
“This is a ringing endorsement of DASO’s tenure as the student governing body. In this election DASO increased its seats on the Student Representative Council (SRC) from 11 to 16 out of a possible 21 seats,” said SRC President, Yusuf Cassim.
Cassim said DASO had secured victory on every campus and faculty positions, taking 7 out of the 8 Oppidani Council seats.
“The election witnessed the highest voter turnout in the University’s history with more than 6000 students turning out to vote to guarantee DASO’s re-election,” he said.
“The magnitude of the DASO win shows that young South Africans have embraced a future that offers them hope and opportunity. This result will send political shock waves throughout the Eastern Cape because it clearly illustrates that young South Africans have turned their backs on the ANC aligned South African Students Congress (SASCO),” he said.
Cassim said what started out as a peaceful election was disrupted by SASCO when their supporters stormed the “student kraal” – the cafeteria on the South Campus, and grabbed a ballot box.
“IEC officials and other students were intimidated and university property was damaged. SASCO’s disgraceful response to democratic free and fair elections is a symptom of their attitude of entitlement to leadership at tertiary institutions across the country,” he said.
Cassim said SASCO’s undemocratic behaviour had to be condemned in the strongest possible terms and disciplinary action had to be taken.
“This election also illustrates massive support for DASO’s delivery whilst in office. We set ourselves certain goals to make a difference in the lives of students and we achieved this. This shows that where a student body can govern well, it gets support from students,” he said.
“This result will inspire students across South Africa to rally behind DASO to make a meaningful difference, not only in the lives of students on campuses, but also give them the hope that change is on the way,” said Cassim.