A Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) candidate was apparently removed from the ballot list days before the SRC elections.

Dominic Khumalo, 4th year LLB, claims  the Legal Office recommended his removal and the decision was made at a meeting between senior Wits management and the Dean of students on Friday August 17.

A notice outside polling stations warned students that voting for ‘candidate 5’ would spoil their ballot.

Earlier this year, Khumalo and fellow members of the Men’s Res house committee were suspended and temporarily evicted for misconduct, after they allegedly disrupted an inter-residence talent show during orientation week.

But Jabu Mashinini, chief electoral officer, said Khumalo withdrew his nomination, and has confirmed that she is in possession of a withdrawal letter from him.

“It was a personal choice. He decided to withdraw for personal reasons and we had to get permission from the VC because withdrawal for nomination had closed already,” she said.

Khumalo said he was not officially informed of the decision and went to confirm with deputy vice chancellor Yunus Ballim if the “rumour” was true. According to Khumalo, Ballim confirmed that he had been excluded.

Khumalo said he consulted with an advocate who advised him that a High Court interdict for the elections was his only form of redress. However, he did not get the interdict because it was expensive, and he did not want to seem power-hungry.

Khumalo said he had written a “very long letter” to the president and the Minister of Higher Education, and was waiting for a response.

Last year, Feziwe Ndwanyana , a PYA candidate, was excluded the day before the elections. She had been found guilty of misconduct during the student protest against fee increments in 2009.

Ballim and Prem Coopoo, dean of students, were approached for comment but had not yet responded at the time of going to print.

Published in Wits Vuvuzela 21st edition, 24th August 2012

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