DA claims Tukkies SRC victory, Sasco alleges vote rigging

2015-09-02 19:04
DA (Supplied)

DA (Supplied)

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Pretoria - The DA Students' Organisation has claimed victory in the University of Pretoria's Student Representative Council (SRC) elections.

This was amid allegations from the SA Students Congress (Sasco) that there was vote rigging.

"The DA is thrilled to note the election of DA Students' Organisation candidate Kwena Moloto to the presidency of the University of Pretoria SRC," the party said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The DA also welcomes the election of a further four DA Students’ Organisation candidates to the Tukkies SRC today. Although the vote is not yet counted for two outstanding SRC seats, with five seats already won by the DA, we are conclusively the largest party represented on the 2015/2016 SRC."

Sasco in Tukkies however said in a statement there was a discrepancy at one of the voting stations following Tuesday's election.

"At around 02:00, one of our party agents notified us of a discrepancy at one of the voting stations... in which the votes and the voters roll did not correlate [58 more votes than voters]..." Sasco said.

"Upon failing to resolve that dispute, and upon refusal of the IEC [Electoral Commission of SA] to recount the votes, our party agents were intimidated, harassed, insulted and called names by IEC officials and, due to fatigue, were forced to sign the forms validating that station."

The university said Sasco had an opportunity to object.

"According to the election process, the preliminary results have been made public. There is now a 24-hour period where there can be objections, and objections will be handled according to the student constitution," spokesperson Nicolize Mulder told News24.

"If they [Sasco] want to object, they will have to follow that process."

The IEC could not be immediately reached for comment.

Call for rerun of elections

Sasco alleged the votes from that station were transferred to the department of student affairs (DSA) unsealed and unprotected, and that the preliminary results were unofficially announced so that the alleged rigging could not be accounted for.

"As Sasco, we believe that the question of fraud and corruption has been clearly exposed," said Sasco, calling for a forensic audit of all the ballot papers. It also called for a "rerun of these elections".

"We further call... for a formal letter of apology from the DSA, IEC and the vice chancellor of the university [Professor Cheryl de la Rey] and an immediate removal and suspension of these election results."

The DA said its victory came after also winning the SRC elections in the University of Fort Hare earlier this year.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe expressed concern after the party's national executive committee meeting in June, at Sasco's "poor" performance during SRC elections at universities around the country.

"It was agreed that the ANC Youth League's contestation for the leadership of SRCs should be strongly discouraged," he told reporters at the time.

"Every member of the ANC Youth League must be a member of Sasco in every campus."

Mantashe said Sasco needed to understand that student politics was about day-to-day issues and not the "universal political concepts".

"Being rooted among students is critical for the strengthening of Sasco.

"There must be a programme that is ongoing and not only focusing on SRC elections."

Read more on:    university of pretoria  |  daso  |  sasco  |  pretoria  |  universities

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