Alchadvon Fransman and Lethiwe Mbatha

SRC exodus explained

Lian van Wyk

Afrikaans to follow

The student representative counsel (SRC) of Stellenbosch University (SU) announced the resignation of two of its main members on Monday 11 February. This followed after both Alchadvon Fransman and Lethiwe Mbatha sent in their resignation letters to the SRC and student parliament on respectively 31 January and 9 February.

Mbatha, previous SRC member for strategic initiatives and leadership development, thanked the people who supported her with her campaign in her letter. However, she also mentioned those who made her time difficult as an SRC member.

“Those who have invested their time and energy to make my leadership hell, people like you are sometimes needed to serve as a tonic to unexplored potential,” she wrote.

Fransman, previous SRC member and chair of the societies council, wrote in his letter about how the SRC should function as a team, rather than separate entities.

Alex van Greuning, current SRC vice-chair, confirmed that the SRC had received both resignation letters. He however added that both Fransman and Mbatha did not complete their constitutional duties as SRC members.

Alex van Greuning, SRC vice-chair.

“It is ironic that two members who did not comply with their constitutional responsibilities quit from the SRC,” said Van Greuning. According to him, Mbatha had missed two compulsory meetings and Fransman was absent during a compulsory student parliament sitting.

Leighton September, current SRC secretary general, could not provide the relevant documents that could serve as evidence of both Fransman and Mbatha’s absence at the relevant meetings.

Fransman said that he missed the parliament sitting due to a “family crisis”. He added, “I informed all the relevant structures of my absence and attended the rest of the parliament sittings.”

Mbatha said that she missed meetings “due to her studies”, but that she also officially made excuses.

Van Greuning said that the SRC did not have a disciplinary committee in place at that stage to address above mentioned “violations” officially but added that both Mbatha and Fransman would have had to resign from the SRC in any case.

“All SRC members must be registered for official courses at SU. As far as I have it, neither Lethiwe nor Alchadvon are officially registered students,” said Van Greuning.

Mbatha, who completed her master’s degree at the geography and environmental studies department, claimed that she has until March this year to register for her PhD and that it should not count against her.

Fransman says that he left his final-year BA studies, but that he has not registered for the current academic year. Registration for senior undergraduate students closed on 31 January.

In his first official term report Fransman accused anonymous colleagues within the SRC of micro management and suggested that the executive committee should stop “treating us as we are nothing” [sic].

“I also think the SRC and specifically the executive must to micro managing the rest of the SRC and treating us as we are nothing [sic]. We are seldom consulted and this many times frustrates chairs and they cannot perform their duties [sic],” he wrote.

Mbatha also expressed unhappiness regarding micro management and said that gaps in communication between executive committee members and the rest of the SRC exists.

“Sometimes general SRC member were discussed as if they are hooligans,” she added.

Anna Durrheim, SRC manager for branding and marketing, said that although she isn’t allowed to sit in on the executive committee meetings, she never felt that anyone checked up on her work unnecessarily. “I have always felt that the other SRC members are supporting me and that they trust me to do my job,” she said.

 

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Die Universiteit Stellenbosch (US) se studenteraad (SR) het op Maandag 11 Februarie die bedanking van twee van sy  hooflede aangekondig. Dit volg nadat beide Alchadvon Fransman en Lethiwe Mbatha hul bedankingsbriewe op onderskeidelik 31 Januarie en 9 Februarie aan die SR en studenteparlement gestuur  het.

Mbatha, voormalige SR-lid vir strategiese inisiatiewe en leierskapsontwikkeling, het in haar brief  diegene wat haar in haar veldtog ondersteun het, bedank. Sy het egter ook melding gemaak van diegene wat haar tyd as SR-lid vir haar moeilik gemaak het.

“Ek is dankbaar vir diegene wat hulle tyd  en energie daaraan bestee het om my tyd as leier hel te maak. Mense soos julle dien somtyds as ’n  tonikum om verborge potensiaal te help ontsluit,” het sy geskryf.

In sy bedankingsbrief het Fransman, voormalige SR-lid en voorsitter  van die verenigingsraad, sy oortuiging uitgespreek dat die SR as ’n span behoort te funksioneer, eerder as aparte entiteite.

Alex van Greuning, SR-ondervoorsitter, het bevestig dat die SR beide bedankingsbriewe ontvang het.  Hy het egter bygevoeg dat beide Fransman en Mbatha nie hul grondwetlike pligte as lede van die SR nagekom het nie.

Alex van Greuning, SR ondervoorsitter.

“Dit is  ironies dat twee lede wat nie hul grondwetlike verpligtinge nagekom het nie van die SR bedank het,”  het Van Greuning gesê. Volgens hom het Mbatha twee verpligte vergaderings misgeloop en was Fransman afwesig tydens ’n verpligte studenteparlementsitting.  

Leighton September, SR sekretarisgeneraal, kon egter geen relevante dokumentasie verskaf wat as bewysstuk van  beide Fransman en Mbatha se afwesigheid by hierdie aangeleenthede kan dien nie.

Fransman het gesê dat  hy die parlementsitting as gevolg van ’n “familiekrisis” misgeloop het. “Ek het al die relevante strukture van my afwesigheid ingelig en verder alle parlementsittings bygewoon,” het hy bygevoeg.  

Mbatha het gesê dat sy vergaderings “as gevolg van haar studies” misgeloop het, maar dat sy ook  amptelik verskoning gemaak het.

Van Greuning het gesê dat die SR op daardie stadium geen  dissiplinêre komitee in plek gehad het om die bogenoemde “oortredings” amptelik te hanteer nie, maar het bygevoeg dat beide Mbatha en Fransman in elk geval van die SR sou moes bedank.

“Alle SR-lede moet vir amptelike akademiese kursusse aan die US geregistreer wees. Sover ek dit het, is nie Lethiwe of Alchadvon amptelik as studente geregistreer nie,” het hy gesê.

Mbatha, wat onlangs haar meestersgraad aan die department geografie en omgewingstudie voltooi het, voer aan dat sy tot en met Maart vanjaar kans het om vir haar PhD te  registreer en dat dit nie teen haar behoort te tel nie.

Fransman sê dat hy sy studies as finalejaar-BA-student wel verlaat het, maar dat hy nog nie vir die huidige akademiese jaar geregistreer het nie. Registrasie vir senior voorgraadse studente het op 31 Januarie gesluit.  

In sy eerste amptelike termynverslag het Fransman anonieme kollegas binne die SR van mikrobestuur beskuldig en spesifiek voorgestel dat  die uitvoerende komitee ophou om die res van die SR-lede “te behandel asof [hulle] niks is nie”.

“Ons word selde gekonsulteer en dit frustreer ander voorsitters [sic] en keer dat ons ons verpligtinge nakom. Onthou wie julle dien en hoekom julle dien,” het hy geskryf.

Mbatha het ook ongelukkigheid oor mikrobestuur uitgespreek en gesê dat daar  kommunikasiegapings tussen die uitvoerende komitee en die res van die SR bestaan.  “Soms is algemene SR-lede bespreek asof hulle hooligans is,” het sy bygevoeg.

Anna Durrheim, SR-bestuurder vir bemarking, het gesê alhoewel sy nie op die uitvoerende komiteevergaderings mag insit nie, sy nog nooit gevoel het dat iemand oor haar skouer loer nie. “Ek het nog altyd gevoel dat ek die ander SR-lede se ondersteuning geniet en dat hulle my vertrou om my werk te doen,” het sy gesê.  

Photos: SUPPLIED

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