Ciro on dodgy politicians

By Ciro De Siena

I’ve been closely following the story behind the story of the month. In case you’ve missed it, and you probably have because you’ve all been drunk, your SRC president has resigned/been asked to resign – we don’t know really know which.

The story behind the story arises out of conversations with the poor souls who’ve been trying to get to the bottom of things, the journalists of this newspaper. To be honest, it seems like it would have been infinitely easier to figure out whether it was Colonel Mustard with a candle stick in the billiards room.

In this terrible version of an old favourite board game, what’s been going on here is a childish game of whodunnit, where one party changes their story as soon as it hears what the other party has said. And the best part is the supervisors are all at it as well.

And, in a humourously Shakespearean twist, it seems that love is at the centre of all the controversy. Our former president’s fiancé now resides far away, and it seems this whole charade began when Bryony asked for a few days leave per month to spend some time with him.

Promptly, the proverbial shit hit the fan. You see, our SRC has adopted a cute little attitude: make the SRC your number one priority; everything else is secondary. So, asked Bryony’s puzzled and perplexed former colleagues, why is she putting her loved ones before the SRC?

Because, Fatema and crew, she’s a human being. Simple. It isn’t terribly surprising when you think about it now, is it?

Did she resign? Was she asked to leave? We asked and we certainly did not receive. But this is all just fun and games. Once you’ve shoveled away their mountains of bullshit and PR crap, we’re left with one simple fact: why won’t the SRC release the minutes from those fateful meetings?

Constitutionally, the SRC is required to take minutes at meetings, and make them publicly available. Since I’ve been here that has taken place and we’ve been able to download the minutes from the SRC’s website.

However, when asked about the documents that could clear up the whole mess, Activate’s journalists were told that all they needed to know was in the press release.

I’m sorry guys, hold the show for a moment. “Need to know”? What the hell is that supposed to mean? That phrase is reminiscent of Stalinist Russia and the Third Reich. More pertinently, it’s the attitude our government adopts with this country’s media.

There is a rather disturbing cloud of cover-up and dishonesty shadowing this whole charade. The thing is, I have interacted with, or know on a more personal level, most of the students who make up our SRC. And they’re generally decent, honest, hard working people. So, either there’s a worrying group dynamic which changes them all from Mr. Mandela to Mr. Zuma, or they really are hiding something.

We’re all here to learn, make mistakes and learn again. Young politicians of the SRC, don’t fall into the most obvious trap of all.

Don’t become dodgy politicians; we have enough of those already.

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One Response to Ciro on dodgy politicians

  1. Michael Salzwedel says:

    Excellent column, Ciro! Exactly the type of probing that journalists need to be doing more of – holding the powerful accountable. Not merely reporting on the happenings, but asking WHY WHY WHY in a logical and fair way – your column demonstrates this.

    Activate should make more of an effort to get hold of those minutes – if the constitution says they should be publicly available, then fight for them! The SRC needs to learn that it HAS TO be transparent at all times…

    Thanks to those who update this blog, appreciated!

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