This was the first year that the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) participated in the local government elections. This article focuses on the EFF’s performance in the elections this year and how this differs from the Economic Freedom Fighters Student Commands’ (EFFSC) presence in the student representative council (SRC) elections at some universities. The election results have been finalized and from the images below you can see how the battle for three of the biggest municipalities was between the African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) with the EFF behind by roughly 30%. However, with that said, the EFF managed to stay ahead of other parties that have more experience with local government elections.
Tshwane University of Technology (TUT)
Before the arrival of the EFFSC on TUT’s Soshanguve campus, small parties like Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (PASMA), SA Democratic Students Movement (SADESMO) and the Students Christian Organization (SCO) used to get seats in the SRC. Further, the number of seats held by the SA Students Congress (SASCO) have also decreased since the EFFSC’s arrival. Despite losing some seats, SASCO was still able to win last year’s SRC elections which took place on August 28.
The TUT Soshanguve Campus SRC consists of 9 seats. Currently SASCO has 3 seats followed by the EFFSC who has 2 seats. SADESMO and SCO both have 1 seat. There was some controversy around the elections as SADESMO posted a statement in which they rejected the elections. SADESMO said that “these elections were not free and fair especially at Soshanguve North Campus. We have proof that SASCO was busing non-students to go and vote on the day.”
North-West University (NWU)
Last year, the NWU’s EFFSC branch won the Campus Student Representative Council (CSRC) elections on Mahikeng campus. Although both the EFFSC and SASCO received 6 seats on the CSRC, the EFFSC won key positions such as the presidential portfolio. Benz Mabengwane, the EFFSC’s leader, became SRC president. However the CSRC did not last long into the year as university management decided to dissolve the CSRC in February. On February 19 NWU issued a statement on Facebook in which it was explained that in view of disruptions on campus the CSRC had failed to adhere to the constitution. NWU spokesman Koos Degenaar explained to Eye Wittness News that the constitution “stipulates that membership [will] be terminated if they become incapable of performing their duties”.
University of Limpopo (UL)
Last year in the SRC elections at UL’s Turfloop campus the EFFSC won the elections by forming a coalition with SCO. According to BDlive the EFFSC received 3 558 votes, which was more than what they got in the 2014 SRC elections. Before the EFFSC’s coalition with SCO, the EFFSC was tied with SASCO. Both parties had 8 seats on the SRC. Juilus Malema, EFF leader, in an interview with SABC said “this foundation is been laid by the EFF in preparation to take over the government; so that the dream that the EFF is a government in waiting is not just a dream it is a reality. Turfloop has demonstrated that it is possible.”
Written by: Nhlawulo Vision David & Jody Davison