Welcome to Stellenbosch University's
An apt quote to start my address and tonight's proceedings can be found in paragraph 1 of EFF v Speaker of the National Assembly and others, my fellow law students will know this case as EEF1:
“One of the crucial elements of our constitutional vision is to make a decisive break from the unchecked abuse of State power and resources that was virtually institutionalised during the Apartheid era. To achieve this goal, we adopted accountability, the rule of law and the Supremacy of the Constitution as values of our constitutional democracy. For this reason, public office-bearers ignore their constitutional obligations at their peril. This is so because constitutionalism, accountability and the rule of law constitute the sharp and mighty sword that stands ready to chop the ugly head of impunity off its stiffened neck.
Student Parliament plays a leading role in creating an inclusive Matie Community, where thought leaders engage constructively, courageously and responsibly with the challenges we face as Maties and global citizens. Student Parliament is the organ of student governance which is mandated by chapter 4 of the Student Constitution to be responsible for accountability and transparency.
As a body, we are predicated on a desire to maintain and realise accountability and transparency. It is imperative that one and all should be driven by a moral obligation to ensure that these values are strengthened and protected. As, when accountability fails, we as the students suffer. This space is a collective space, and it exists for students and because of students. The call for and to accountability needs to be a collective one, taken by each of us gathered in this space this evening– every day. [Measuring our actions and decision-making on the backdrop of these values, using these values as our guiding light.]
Our mission as Student Parliament, a mission I hope you will share with us, is to build our capacity to effectively fulfil our mandate. To strengthen participatory governance and accountability. To increase the effectiveness and efficiency of Parliamentary functions and systems. To strengthen financial oversight and transparency. We further aim to promote Consultative governance and to strengthen our Constitutional democracy.
For 2021, Student Parliament strives to remain consistent in our mandate and, to create and facilitate the space for robust engagement. I, as Speaker, am here to ensure that this space is created; to remain impartial and objective during these engagements; and to give rise to the will and needs of our students, whilst remaining cognizant of our historic and diverse milieu.
Yours in accountability, transparency and consultative governance. Thank you.