PYA dominates SRC again

Incumbent SRC president Tebogo Thothela.
Photo: Jay Caboz

The Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) fell one candidate short of a third consecutive clean sweep in this year’s SRC elections.

Wits Registrar Kirti Menon announced the results to over 100 students outside the Great Hall steps on Friday August 24.

Members and supporters of the PYA formed a circle and had been singing for at least an hour before the announcement. Of the 30 403 students on the voter’s roll there was only a 20% voter turnout, a  4% increase from last year.

The 2012/2013 SRC election results

The top 15 candidates will form next year’s SRC.

PYA candidates and members marched to the Matrix after the announcement to celebrate their victory. Torn campaign posters belonging to the Democratic Alliance Student Organisation (DASO) were seen along the route they took although it is not clear who was responsible for this.

In a related issue, Dominic Khumalo, a PYA candidate, was apparently excluded from the elections, although the chief electoral officer confirmed that he submitted a letter withdrawing his nomination.

SRC election candidate claims election exclusion

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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Candidates outside the Wits Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) are hoping to avoid a third consecutive clean sweep for the party in this year’s Student Representative Council (SRC) elections.

Election campaigning was officially launched on Tuesday 7 August at a circus outside the Matrix. Less than 40 students braved the snow to listen to candidates from the PYA, the Democratic Alliance Student Organization (DASO) and independent candidates.

The Wits Congress of the People Student Movement (COPESM) did not nominate any candidates. Mukondeleli Mphigalale, chairperson of the Wits COPESM, said the party was dealing with internal structural issues, and would be back in SRC elections next year.

Voter turnout in last year’s elections was just over 16%.

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For more stories by Wits Vuvuzela try these links

Covering Wits by Lisa Golden – A great photo essay of the cover the night campaign on Wits Campus

Stop Kony 2012: After the Hype by Lisa Golden – More information on the Kony 2012 trend