Recalling Student Leaders: Analysing the Advancement of Constitutionalism, Democracy and Transparency

Mwanawina Ilyayambwa


Constitutionalism is the idea, often associated with the political theories, that an authority wielding public power or purporting to represent the interest of the governed can and should be legally limited in its powers, and that its authority or legitimacy depends on its observing these limitations. Student Representative Councils (SRC’s) have become an integral part of higher education governance. Despite this, very little attention and research has been aimed at scrutinizing the legal infrastructure which is grundnorm of these formations. This paper focuses on the recall clause which has become a common provision in the constitutions establishing a SRC and commonly used to remove an office bearer from the SRC. The question to be addressed by this paper is to determine whether or not the usage of the recall clause is in line with South African Constitutional values that embody democracy, accountability and transparency. The work relies on various political and constitutional theories to advance its arguments and concludes that in view of the democratic principles enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, any exercise to recall a student leader by a deploying structure without the support or adoption by the majority of members in a legitimate student parliamentary structure (or student mass meeting) does not espouse that values of transparency.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n20p2164

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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