Following a a fair share of confusion, disappointment and uncertainty, the Student Representative Council (SRC) elections held on Stellenbosch main campus saw Nomzamo Ntombela make history as the first black woman to be elected as chairperson of the Stellenbosch SRC.
Leading up to the February 16-21 election week, nominations for SRC candidates were open from January 30 until February 6. The elections followed week-long caucuses, where 13 hopeful candidates addressed student bodies around campus on issues that plagued the university. There was also a great deal of confusion as to where the caucuses were to take place.
A mass email was sent out to students on Monday February 20 advising them not to vote for Daso (Democratic Alliance Student Organization) chairperson Lwando Nkamisa, who was disqualified from elections following a mass email that Nkamisa had sent out to Daso members on February 17. The email was considered to be a gross conflict of interest by election convenor Swigelaar. According to the covenor, the email was highly troubling and showed signs of de-campaigning against other students.
Nkamsia released a statement on Facebook in which he said: ” It is with a heavy heart that I share with you that I have been informed by the Election Convenor that I have been disqualified from the #StelSRC2017 election.”
The Daso chairperson of the Stellenbosch campus continued,” Upon receiving multiple enquiries from DASO members and supporters I believed it to be prudent to pen Daso’s view on the SRC election and related matters. This included myself outlining the facts that four Daso aligned candidates were running as well as the values and core ideologies of the EFF and ANC aligned candidates were conflicting with those of Daso’s and we believe, that of our RSA Constitution 1996.”
Voting closed at 12pm on Tuesday, February 21. By lunchtime, the nine SRC student members were announced. In no particular order, they were: Romek Sadiwsku, Nwabisa Gcilitshana, Liana Maheso, Nomzamo Ntombela, Jeandre’ Boshoff, Maxwell Mlangenu, Lindokuhle Mangesi, Kamva Somdyala and Bevin Davids.
Two candidates, Romek Sadowski and Nomzamo Ntombelahe, were competing for SRC chairperson and were to be voted in the following day at the University’s library auditorium. The results were eight votes (Ntombela) to seven votes (Sadowski). Election convenor, Dylan Swigelaar postponed the announcement of the SRC chairperson as he believed that the winner would need a minimum of nine votes. Due to the irregular nature of the SRC election procedure, the election convenor was placed under review.
After much deliberation and review by the student court ruling, Swigelaar sent a email out to students, to announce the winner of the chairperson election. Thursday, February 23, saw third year student Nomzamo Ntombela make history at the institution as she was the first black woman to be elected chairperson of the Stellenbosch SRC.
Unfortunately, contender for chairperson, Romek Sadowski resigned from the SRC on February 24 . Sadowski had decided beforehand that if he did not make chairperson he would focus on his academics and completing his Actuarial Science honours. Sadowski received the most votes in the SRC elections with a total of 1 600 votes.
Written by Tess Vengadajellum