Election dispute

THE counting in the highly contested student representative council elections at the Mangosuthu University of Technology was marred by controversy yesterday.

This happened when disgruntled IFP-aligned South African Democratic Student Movement (Sadesmo) members boycotted the process yesterday.

The members reportedly stormed out the vote counting centre, claiming the process was illegitimate.

Sadesmo members are the SRC office bearers for the current term.

The preliminary results of three counted ballot boxes out of five indicated that the ANC-aligned South African Student Congress (Sasco) had pipped Sadesmo.

A fortnight ago Sasco showed crowd power after inviting ANC Youth League president Julius Malema to add his weight to their campaign.

Sasco branch chairperson Nhlakanipho "Cheese" Sibisi said Sadesmo disrupted vote counting after noticing that they were losing.

"The process of elections at the institution started on Thursday and the counting on Saturday night, but was disrupted.

"Dean of students Thami Mchunu was called to make a recommendation on the process with the Independent Electoral Commission but Sadesmo opted to walk out," he said.

Sibisi said he was positive that they had won the elections and were only waiting for the institution and IEC to declare the results within 48 hours.

"We have two uncounted ballot boxes now. One is open but the other is sealed. And according to the three counted ballot boxes we won," he said.

Sibisi said they were waiting for the counting to be completed and before passing a vote of no confidence on Mchunu because he had reportedly failed to do his job.

Outgoing SRC president Brain Madondo said the ballot papers used for voting had a university stamp.

"But we found that some of them had IEC stamps and that exceeded the number of votes expected," he said.