Diamond shines as new SRC chairperson of Maties
In the midst of the rising tensions at Stellenbosch University, which is popularly known as Maties, a historical appointment was made when the SRC appointed its second black chairperson in the institution’s history.
Axolile Diamond Qina snatched victory from Bradley Frolick, son of ANC MP Cedric Frolick, with nine votes to six. The election was held on campus on Thursday evening. Stellenbosch’s last black SRC chairperson was Wynoma Michaels who was elected 17 years ago. Qina and Frolick went head-to-head in a process in which they made opening statements, were questioned by other SRC members, and then questioned by students.
The most dramatic questions of the night were posed to Qina, who was asked to explain his position on the voting policy of the men’s residence he headed this year. The policy allows half a vote to first-year students when voting for the house committee. Qina said members of his residence believed that after six months, first-year students did not know the candidates well enough. Qina’s support from the SRC was obvious going into the election. But Frolick’s win would have been a victory for transformation group Open Stellenbosch with which he has close ties. Qina will now head to Parliament with the management delegation on Tuesday to appear before the portfolio committee of higher education and training.
– S’thembile Cele