Sasco romps home in varsity elections

THE ANC-aligned SA Student Congress recorded a landslide victory in last week's students representative council elections at the Mangosuthu University of Technology.

But the IFP-aligned SA Democratic Students Movement (Sadesmo) has not accepted the outcome, claiming there was something "fishy" about their defeat.

They are challenging the results on the basis that two of the five ballot boxes were tampered with and remain uncounted.

Sadesmo walked out of the counting centre on Sunday night and withdrew from the process.

In a statement yesterday, university administrator Mashupye Kgapola confirmed that Sasco had won the election.

A list attached to his statement showed that the 12 top candidates scored much higher votes and that all were Sasco members.

Kgapola also confirmed that the findings of an investigation into the two ballot boxes had been concluded and that the election was declared free and fair after an audit by audit firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

"It does not appear that there is any ground to conclude that votes counted at the time that Sadesmo withdrew is unfair," said Kgapola.

The Sadesmo leadership said "it is impossible" that they could have lost the election so badly while they had such a strong membership on campus.

Sadesmo has dominated student politics at the institution in the last couple of years. Sasco last won the SRC election in 2006.

Sadesmo s pokesperson Ntokozo Zwane said they would consult their lawyers to seek advice on how they could appeal the result.

Sasco spokesperson Nhlakanipho Sibisi alleges that Sadesmo members misbehaved during counting on Sunday evening when they realised that they were losing the election.

"Auditors were called to audit the votes and declared that the existing results would be considered and that the three of the five boxes that had been counted would be used. That is how we won."

Yesterday, students continued with the writing of exams and there was no incidents reported despite the conflict over the results.

Police were deployed on the campus to monitor the situation.