The declaration of the free and fair elections will be announced electronically to the greater student body, added Dr Madiba. “We [had] a 22% votership in these elections and for that we are very thankful” she said. Dr Madiba also took the opportunity to thank her colleuges for the successful elections. She also said that the full SRC could not be inaugurated due to certain procedures that would need to first be addressed, including constitutional challenges. She apologised that the ex-officio members were invited to the inauguration, but could not be inaugurated on that day.
The Constitutional Tribunal’s Deputy Chief Justice, Nelsie Sibonza, then began the inauguration ceremony. Each newly elected SRC candidate was required to swear their oath of office and then sign it. According to Sibonza, SRC Deputy President, Mamello Molotsi, was not able to attend the inauguration. In their oaths of office, incoming SRC candidates were requested to affirm their capacity as SRC members to obey, maintain and protect the student bill of rights, abide by the SRC code of conduct, perform duties of their offices conscientiously and to the best of their abilities. According to Dr Madiba, a second inauguration would be arranged for the Deputy President, Mamello Molotsi, and the seven members of the ex officio portfolios. Madiba closed the ceremony and urged participants at the event to spread the news that the elections were declared free and fair.
The status of the SRC elections was confirmed in a statement by the CEO of the IEC, Michael Makobe. “The Independent Monitoring Body has discharged its obligations under the University of Pretoria Constitution for Student Governance in relation to the 2017 SRC Elections and has found that the elections were free and fair”, the statement read. The preliminary election results were therefore announced as final.
Photo: Fezekile Msimang.