‘Peace­ful’ coun­cil elec­tions for SPU

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - NEWS - MUR­RAY SWART STAFF RE­PORTER

THE THIRD Stu­dent Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Coun­cil (SRC) of the Sol Plaatje Univer­sity (SPU) was elected with­out in­ci­dent yes­ter­day af­ter­noon, with the nam­ing of the new pres­i­dent and com­mit­tee sched­uled to take place late last night.

This was in sharp con­trast to the SRC elec­tions 12 months ago when protest ac­tion, ap­par­ently in sup­port of a zero per­cent in­crease in the cost of higher ed­u­ca­tion, placed the process in jeop­ardy, with a group of demon­stra­tors from the EFF Stu­dent Com­mand bring­ing ac­tiv­ity on cam­pus to a stand­still.

Yes­ter­day’s vot­ing saw a to­tal of 26 can­di­dates vy­ing for 10 places on the 2017/18 SRC, with the re­sults sched­uled to be an­nounced three hours af­ter vot­ing closed, at around 9pm, last night.

At lunchtime yes­ter­day, SPU Vice-Chan­cel­lor and Prin­ci­pal, Pro­fes­sor Yunus Bal­lim, said that the vot­ing process had run smoothly and with­out in­ci­dent.

“Cam­paign­ing started on Mon­day, Septem­ber 18, and closed at 10am on Tues­day,” Bal­lim said. “Stu­dents cam­paigned vig­or­ously and re­spect­fully.

“There were no re­ported in­ci­dents of any im­proper cam­paign­ing by the can­di­dates.”

For the first time in the univer­sity’s his­tory, a “spe­cial vote” was re­quested in or­der to ac­com­mo­date stu­dents who were not able to make their mark on elec­tion day.

“There was a group of stu­dents, from a sin­gle class, who ex­pected to be away from Kim­ber­ley on study ac­tiv­i­ties this week and were con­cerned that they would not be able to cast their votes,” Bal­lim ex­plained. “We held a ‘spe­cial vote’ op­por­tu­nity for them on Thurs­day.

“This bal­lot box was sealed in the pres­ence of the can­di­dates and has been held at the premises of the ex­ter­nal au­di­tor.”

The bulk of the votes were, how­ever, cast through­out the day yes­ter­day.

All reg­is­tered stu­dents were el­i­gi­ble to vote while an elec­tion com­mit­tee mon­i­tored the process, in­clud­ing the tal­ly­ing up of the re­sults, which was man­aged by an in­de­pen­dent au­di­tor.

“Can­di­dates were al­lowed to be present as ob­servers dur­ing the count­ing process,” added Bal­lim, say­ing that the win­ners would be an­nounced last night, pro­vided there were no ob­jec­tions lodged by any of the can­di­dates.

Mean­while, the cur­rent SRC pres­i­dent, Thato Ke­sek­ile, did not put his name for­ward for re-elec­tion and will con­clude his term at the end of the month.

While vot­ing was in full swing at the cam­pus yes­ter­day af­ter­noon, Ke­sek­ile said that the process of find­ing his re­place­ment ap­peared to be run­ning smoothly and was un­likely to re­sult in any con­flict or an­i­mos­ity.

“There re­ally isn’t too much to re­port,” he said. “It’s been very quiet and the stu­dents have not en­coun­tered any prob­lems when mak­ing their mark.

“It’s been a very peace­ful elec­tion so far.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.