By Chanel Retief
An extra ordinary student body meeting took place on 4 May 2016 at Eden Grove Red Lecture Theatre. Following recent events regarding the Student Representative Council (SRC), the primary item on the agenda was a vote of no confidence in the SRC. 800 students had to be present for there to be quorum, but estimates put the gathering between 200 and 300 people. The meeting was scheduled to start at 18:00, but was later postponed to 20:00 to accommodate students who were writing tests at the time.
Students were initially reluctant to allow Independent Electoral Board Chairman, Desiree Wicks, to outline the procedure regarding the meeting and voting. This was due to the fact that some students had not yet arrived. Wick continued nevertheless explaining that a vote of no confidence cannot be called for the entire SRC, and can only be called for individual members. “There is no procedure to say ‘we have no confidence in the SRC as a whole’. You need to list what you deem they have done wrong,” Wicks stated at the meeting. Wicks went onto to explain that unless a member of the SRC has “been found guilty of a disciplinary offence”, it was not possible to suspend them. There was a suggestion that the vote of no confidence take place through RUConnected. However, Wicks stated that having the vote of no confidence on RUConnected was not safe or secure, and that the ballot system was preferable.
Amongst the SRC councillors that were present was Environmental Representative, Buchule Madikizela. When students were given the opportunity to ask SRC councillors questions, they could not direct any questions towards him due to the legality of his case. Other speakers at the meeting included Siyanda Makhubo, speaker of Student Parliament. A student then asks each councilor on the SRC to state whether or not they are stepping down. Each member responded that they would not resign except for Madikizela, who declined to comment.
For a more detailed view of the Student Body Meeting, check out our Twitter: @ActivateOnline.