The SA Student Congress (SASCO) has split and a new breakaway organisation has won seats on the Student Representative Councils of the University of Cape Town and the University of the Western Cape.
The new organisation, ALUTA, won three out of 17 seats on UCT’s SRC after elections last month.
A week later the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) held elections but ALUTA could not participate because of the university requirement that a party must have been in existence for at least six months to contest any elections.
A few days later UWC held SRC elections and ALUTA won two out of 12 seats.
According to Luntu Sokutu, a SASCO national committee member, ALUTA was formed as a result of internal issues at UCT.
He said SASCO branch secretary Ramabina Mahapa, who had been on the UCT SRC, had left the organisation after problems with SASCO. The provincial executive committee of SASCO had dissolved the branch, he said, and Mahapa had launched ALUTA.
Mahapa did not return calls or respond to emails.
Sokutu said in the week before the deadline for submission of lists of candidates for SRC elections at UCT, about eight candidates had withdrawn, citing personal reasons. They then fought the elections as ALUTA candidates, he said.
The former SRC president of UWC, Msingathi Kula, left SASCO and is now part of ALUTA leadership on the campus.
“I’ve been a member of SASCO for a very long time, I have made sacrifices academically and personally just to serve and lead students but because of some internal issues in the organisation I came to a point where I had to make drastic decisions and left the organisation.”
Kula said it was a political and not a personal choice to leave SASCO for ALUTA but would not go into details.
Asisipho Solani, provincial deputy chairperson of SASCO, acknowledged there had been internal problems in SASCO but would not elaborate.
Sokutu said at this stage ALUTA was present only in the Western Cape but the UWC election results suggested it was well organised and might spread out of the province.
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Source : GroundUp