The Congress Of South African Students (COSAS) held it’s second NEC Meeting from the 09th -11th of February 2018 at Chief Albert Luthuli House.
The NEC amongst other issues looked into the state of the basic education sector in the country in order to deeply reflect on it and strengthen the fighting capacity of the organisation in order to realise a single coordinated pre-tertiary education in South Africa.
It is exactly 34 years since 15-year-old Cde Emma Sathekge was killed in Attredgeville when police clashed with learners who were organised by COSAS to demand learner representation in decision making within school yards. The NEC reiterated it’s call for the strengthening of RCL’s through democracy.
We further call for the Independent Electoral Commission to facilitate the election processes of the RCLs. In some schools the process of electing of RCL’s is rigged with some schools having RCL’s pointed out by teachers and principals based on favouritism not the will of majority of learners within a school.
The NEC declared this month of February as the month of Comrade Emma Sathekge: Strengthening RCL’s for a True Representation of Learners. This will see COSAS leading a nationwide program of meeting with RCL’s in schools in order to revive the idea and spirit COSAS had when they demanded RCL’s in schools in the 1980’s.
This is very critical, especially at the wake of many disturbing cases of sexual abuse that goes on unreported in schools whilst almost the whole school is aware of the perpetrators.
The NEC received both the organisational update and Political update which informed a complex dialogue about the state of our education system and the organisation.
The NEC convened a week after it’s back to school campaign, which saw NEC members and all leaders of COSAS in various levels visiting schools across the country to assess the access of poor and working-class students into the system, state of infrastructure, health-related matters and toilet facilities in particular.
The organisation is outraged by the poor/collapsing infrastructure, insufficient academic facilities like libraries and laboratories, forever dirty toilets, inadequate staff and corporal punishment amongst certain schools we visited. We are of the view that these are part of the factors that contribute to poor performance in our public schools.
The leadership of the organisation will be engaging with the department of basic education and other relevant stakeholders in the sector to resolve this crisis.
The NEC further reflected on the African National Congress (ANC) as the leader of society. As students we are calling for unity born out of people’s struggles within the ANC. We call on the ANC to decisively deal with all those who bring disunity within the ANC.
The prolonging of factional groupings within the ANC will lead this glorious liberation movement into being a shadow of it’s former self. The ANC must continue to lead the South African society until the national democratic society is realised.
We call on all learners to go register to vote in the upcoming 2019 national General elections.
The NEC further saw it fit as the highest decision-making body between conferences to unanimously recall the Secretary General and the Treasurer General from office and further raise a vote of no confidence on both the individuals who were holding these offices.
This is following a countless number of misconducts which were heard in the meeting also evidence presented before the National Executive Committee. The NEC took this bold decision in order to allow the organisation to be more effective in discharging its responsibilities and work in unity. We, however, want to thank them for the work they have done thus far and wish them well in their future endeavours
We call on all our members to adhere to the decisions taken by the highest structure of the organisation and desist from identifying themselves outside the organisation.
A National Student’s Council is being organised in order for members of the organization to be given a platform to further deliberate on this issue and further strengthen the organization’s capacity. Dates and guidelines will be released in due course.
Unity and stability continues to prevail in this biggest and oldest student’s movement in Africa.
Official Statement Issued on Behalf of the National Executive Committee of COSAS:
John Macheke- 074 819 5716
Acting Secretary General
Nkhobo Khomongoe – 071 838 2891