No vote rigging in Tukkies SRC election - IEC

2015-09-03 15:50
(University of Pretoria, Supplied)

(University of Pretoria, Supplied)

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Pretoria - There was no vote rigging at the University of Pretoria's Student Representative Council (SRC) elections, the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) said on Thursday. 

"Sasco submitted a complaint after the publication of the preliminary SRC results. The complaint deals mainly with allegations of vote rigging. The allegations were investigated and the outcome is that the claims are unfounded," spokesperson Kate Bapela said. 

"A formal response was provided to Sasco. If Sasco is not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation, they can lodge an appeal with the independent monitoring body established in terms of the SRC Constitution."

The SA Students Congress (Sasco) and Afriforum Youth have both appeared to be united in their opposition to the preliminary results of the SRC elections. 

Afriforum Youth on Thursday demanded the re-election of the SRC at the university, following the release of the preliminary results, which the Democratic Alliance Students' Organisation claimed to have won.

On Wednesday, Sasco also called for a rerun of the elections.

The university said on Thursday that parties had an opportunity to object to the results 24 hours after the preliminary results were released, but that period had already ended.

"The process will now take its course and the university will issue a statement when the process has been completed," spokesperson Nicolize Mulder told News24.

‘Marred by irregularities’

AfriForum Youth's Monique du Randt said in a statement: "This youth organisation and several other organisations have also submitted complaints to the department of student affairs (DSA) at UP, after it came to light that the SRC election process and results were marred by irregularities.

"AfriForum Youth is in consultation with their legal team and considers approaching the court for an order declaring the election null and void. The youth organisation also demands for the preliminary results to not get concluded, pending the probe of the complaints."

Sasco said that around 02:00 on Wednesday, one of its party agents notified it of a discrepancy at the IT building voting station where votes and the voters roll did not correlate. There were allegedly 58 more votes than voters.

"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," they claimed.

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

‘Furious objection’

It claimed that after "furious objection" from Sasco, the DSA called Vice Principal Themba Mosia into a closed meeting, and at 08:53 on Wednesday, DSA director Rachel Madiba, in the presence of Mosia, announced the preliminary results.

"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."

Afriforum Youth, in its formal complaint, echoed the same objections.

"Ballot boxes from the voting station at the IT-building were not sealed. These boxes were transported between the IT-building and Roosmaryn [building] without any security."

It said no party agents were allowed to view, observe or sign off on the preliminary results before they were released.

"A sudden change in voter counts was announced after a meeting with Professor Themba Mosia."


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

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