Due to dispute of the new president of the Students Representative Council, further electing of executives have been stalled.
An internal PYA dispute over the new Wits SRC president-elect has stalled the election of the SRC executive.
On Friday, September 9, Kefentse Isaac Mkhari won the election for the presidency against David Manabile, according to two sources that asked not to be named.
The meeting, also attended by three additional student representatives, ended after “disruptions by observers”, according to Jabulani Mashinini, head of the university’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
The two sources, *Lonwabo Mdlalose and *Boitumelo Mzizi, who are close to the SRC, say that Mkhari was publicly asked on Tuesday, September 13, to resign from his position as president, to allow a more ‘neutral’ candidate to be elected.
Mdlalose told Wits Vuvuzela that some members were unhappy about the outcome which saw Mkhari secure 10 votes against eight for Manabile, who had been expected to take up the position of president.
But after the announcement on August 29 that PYA had won all 15 SRC seats, some members had begun lobbying for Mkhari instead.
According to Mdlalose, some of Mkhari’s supporters were unhappy with the way in which Manabile was elected as ‘designated’ president prior to the elections on August 23-25, while some of Manabile’s followers were unhappy that Mkhari’s followers had “rebelled” against the PYA.
Mzizi told Wits Vuvuzela, “I am aware of factions” within PYA/SRC. He also said that he was aware of “three or four” people, including Mkhari, who had received threats of physical violence via telephone calls which were aimed at pushing Mkhari to step down.
Mdlalose also said that at the meeting on Tuesday, Mkhari had been confronted about rumours that he had received threatening phone calls, and he had confirmed them.
However, Mkhari told Wits Vuvuzela that he was not willing to comment on the matter, and Manabile said the “organisation has mandated us not to speak to the media”.
Mashinini said that the IEC was not present at Tuesday’s meeting as they were allowing the SRC to “deal with their issues”. He confirmed that the new SRC was still in the process of constituting and once they had settled their disputes, they would move forward with the election of the remaining SRC executive.
The voters at Friday’s meeting included the 15 PYA members along with the All Residence Chairperson, All Faculty Representative and the Post Graduate Representative. The IEC was also present and the meeting was chaired by the outgoing SRC president, Nompendulo Mkhatshwa.
*Names have been changed