AfriForum Youth’s Stellenbosch branch recently submitted complaints as well as legal counsel’s opinion with the Student Court of the University of Stellenbosch (US) in which information regarding the legality of the current student constitution is requested. The complaints arose from information the youth organisation obtained that points to the possibility of the current document not being legal.
Numerous enquiries regarding the approval of the current student constitution has been sent to Mr George Steyn, Chairperson of the US Council, Ms Ronell Retief, Registrar of the US, Ms Bridget Schreiber, Senior Director of Student Affairs, as well as the US Student Court.
“I sent questions to Mr Steyn three times with no feedback from him, while Ms Retief and Ms Schreiber could not answer my questions directly. The Student Court acknowledged receipt of the complaints, but to date no feedback has been received,” says Bernard Pieters, AfriForum Youth’s Coordinator with the US.
The queries deal with among other things the aspects of the process that was followed regarding the implementation of the current university constitution as well as aspects surrounding the final approval of the document.
Should the information around AfriForum Youth’s complaint be correct, the implications are as follows:
- The Student Council elections, election rules and the Student Council since 2014 is unconstitutional and therefore invalid.
- The US Council deliberately pushed through and executed an unconstitutional constitution.
In the complaint that was submitted with the Student Court, AfriForum Youth requests that:
- the legitimacy of the current student constitution be determined;
- the current Student Council elections be declared invalid because valid processes were not followed;
- all elections that took place under the invalid constitution be declared invalid;
- all financial decisions by the US and their funding of the Student Council from 2014 be investigated and audited by an independent auditing firm; and
- it be determined which institution(s) and persons were responsible for the use of the invalid constitution(s) and the accompanied expenses and funding.
From what is understood, the original student constitution was initially approved, but not approved again once a range of changes were made. The Student Council who in April this year defended the validity of this constitution, has since removed this post.
- The court documents, together with supporting documentation is attached hereto.