Voting of candidates into various offices as the next university’s Student Representative Council (SRC) commenced on the 29th of August and ended on the 31st of August 2017.
The counting process started on Friday, the 1st of September 2017. The counting process was handled by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and it started very smoothly, everything was going accordingly. On Saturday, everything also went well however in the evening things went from good to worse.
There was a misunderstanding amongst the student groups competing as the South African Student Congress (SASCO) was already leading with the number of votes. The African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) could not agree to that as they were so sure that they had every support and they believed most of the students voted for them. Moreover, they stated that the students have witnessed their great work but the voting statistics were saying otherwise. By this time there was a heated argument between ANCYL members and the IEC members that were counting as the ANCYL suspected an unfairness in the counting of votes.
According to an ANCYL member who asked to remain anonymous, there was an incident during the election process. He further said that, “on Wednesday before the counting process even began, 100 unused ballot papers went missing, when we asked the IEC members how that happened they also did not have the correct answers and that was when we saw that something was up” says the anonymous ANCYL member.
All of this resulted in the counting process being stopped while there were still three boxes left to be counted. The ANCYL demands for re-counting of the votes but the SASCO says that they must carry on with the counting process without changing anything.
The counting process is still suspended whilst they are still waiting for a way forward. The SASCO also had a say in all of this, “the ANCYL must just accept defeat because at the end of the day it is not about winning but it is about serving the students and as SASCO we are prepared to do so” says a SASCO member who also asked to remain anonymous.