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Testing time for SRC elections

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Nokuthula Zwane
August26/ 2016
NEW LEADERSHIP: Witsies queue to vote in SRC elections held on campuses this week. Photo: Nokuthula Zwane
NEW LEADERSHIP: Witsies queue to vote in SRC elections held on campuses this week. Photo: Nokuthula Zwane

CAMPAIGNING for the highly contested Wits 2016/2017 SRC elections during test week has been a strain for some student political organisations.
Students were urged to go out and vote in the annual Wits Student Representative Council (SRC) Elections on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Voting took place on all Wits campuses, which include education campus, medical School, and west and east campuses respectively.Outgoing SRC secretary general, Fasiha Hassan said that the SRC was in full support of the
elections, however, concerns were raised over the university selecting test week to have the elections. “We reject the fact that the university didn’t properly advertise this year’s elections. Which is certainly a direct attempt to undermine the student bodies on campus,” said Hassan. The official candidate list for the elections was only released earlier this week and included the  Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA), Wits Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Project W. This year the Democratic Alliance Student Organisation (DASO) was not among the candidate list.
PYA representative Mpendulo Mfeka, said that students had a democratic right to cast their vote but the short campaign period of just one week had affected voter turnout. Mfeka said his organisation would be releasing an official statement that would be handed to the campus electoral commission.Engineering students, Kerone Naidoo and Marguerite Strydom who had not voted for the SRC, expressed their views over this year’s SRC elections. “I feel like the campaigning for this year’s  elections was not as loud as last year’s elections,” said Naidoo.
Wits University had sent out an SMS to all students, urging them to go out to vote for the 2016/2017 SRC candidates during the final day of voting. Wits EFF Student command Koketso Poho, said, “These elections are not free and fair based on our measure from the response from students.” Poho and other political student bodies from Project W and PYA claim that there have been discrepancies during the campaigning process. Hassan said that the SRC would be attending the counting process held by the electoral commission who facilitated this year’s elections,
where she hoped that the elections would be ruled as free and fair. The current SRC has announced on Twitter that the incoming SRC will undergo training, saying, “We will remain in office until 1 November and use the remainder of our term to continue serving students and training the new SRC for their term.”

Wits Vuvuzela tried to contact the representatives from the Project W and PYA respectively, to get their views about this year’s SRC election, however, no formal comment was given at the time of going to print. Results are expected to be released on Friday, August 26. Please check the Wits Vuvuzela online web page to get the full scope of who will govern in the next Wits Student Representative Council.

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Nokuthula Zwane