Fallist activists heading for parliament as first-time MPs

10 May 2019 - 15:49 By Nico Gous and Iavan Pijoos
A few members of the Fallist movement, born of the #FeesMustFall protests, will become first-time MPs.
A few members of the Fallist movement, born of the #FeesMustFall protests, will become first-time MPs.
Image: MOELETSI MABE

With almost nine out of every 10 votes (88.7%) counted after lunch on Friday it looked as if a few members of the Fallist movement were set to become MPs.

The ANC was leading the race with about 57.29% of the vote, and the EFF trailed in third position with 10.29%, which - according to the TimesLIVE election website - translated into 230 seats for the ANC and 42 for the EFF in parliament.

According to the EFF’s final candidate list, that means EFF Fallists including Naledi Chirwa, Peter Keetse and Vuyani Pambo and ANC Fallist Nompendulo Mkhatshwa were likely to become MPs.

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Keetse is the president of the EFF student command and a civil engineering student at the University of Johannesburg.

Keetse was blasé about the prospect of heading to parliament as an MP.

"We knew from the beginning, because we have long diagnosed that nothing must ever be said about us [students] without us."

Keetse joined the EFF at its inception and was elected student president in 2017.

His priority will be to give a "true sense and meaning to free education they [students] talk about".

"We are students. We know what is happening. Students fail because they did not have money to buy books ... The free education that we demanded is not what has been given to us. That is the first thing that we're going to be addressing there in parliament before we remove the price tag from education."

Keetse was also concerned about Fallists who remain in jail and could not graduate.

He believed the key to their success at various universities was the "ideological framework" of the party.

"It is well understood and interpreted by scholars who can read and write and understand ... The policies of the EFF attract such people, which is why you saw such a massive growth in institutions of higher learning."

He added: "We are going to surprise a lot of people."

Another Fallist who is set to become an EFF MP is Vuyani Pambo, who would not be drawn on a possible future in parliament.

"We will talk about it when the time has come, right now we are still busy with elections … Our main focus for now is the elections. Remember our struggle is not parliament, that is not where our focus is now."


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