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Acknowledging the Vice-chancellor of Rhodes University Dr Mabizela, the Deputy Vice-Chancellors, the Registrar, the Director of Student Affairs, deans, former presidents, SRC alumni, the current SRC and members of the student body, kere kgotso ga ebe le lena (I wish you peace).
Indeed, whatever that has a beginning has an end, and whatever that he the Lord has begun shall surely come to a successful end. About a year ago, the student body of Rhodes University entrusted us with an important task of representing them in the highest decision-making structures of student governance. I stood here to accept a great responsibility as the President of the Student Representative Council for the 2020 academic year. This I did not take for granted and recognised it as a sign of the tremendous urge that students had to see great change, a paradigm shift to great purpose and a declaration of possible success in student governance.
It is always expected that leadership will come with a lot of challenges, but one would’ve never imagined that the year 2020 would bring us a global crisis. I must express that being a leader during this period was and still is very difficult and taxing. The coronavirus pandemic has been an epic test of character and determination for millions of people around the world; for us, it has been an ultimate leadership test.
To my council, I would like to say congratulations for passing this test. Your resilience and determination to serve the student body continued to thrive during this period. I want to thank you for your hard work and the sacrifices you made.
To the student populace of Rhodes university, thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you, and for the support you gave us thus far. You remain our greatest asset as an institution. I always say; leadership is not a competition, and therefore a victory for one is for victory to all. With that being said, I want to thank our student political substructures and other student leaders for always showing us our blind spots; it is through your constructive criticism that we grow as leaders. To those we have wronged in the course of this journey, we ask for your forgiveness.
To the University management, we appreciate your commitment to the course of duty. Although we have had our disagreements here and there, we appreciate the positive engagements we have had with you, especially during this period. Your efforts in trying to ensure that we smoothly transition to the new normal did not go unnoticed. We pray for the success in heeding to resolve the teething problems of our dear University.
To the incoming SRC, the secret is doing your best and serving with a clear conscience. Take criticism in good faith, bearing in mind that not every critic has an evil intention.Source: Office of the 2020 SRC President, Katlego Mphahlele
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