AfriForum Youth has lodged an urgent appeal at UP to disclose the results of the elections, as stipulated in a media press release on 1 November. The appeal is based on the Access to Information Act (section 32 in the Bill of Rights) representing the election results as information within public interest.
According to a letter from AfriForum Youth to student leaders of other societies, the youth group also intends to file a semi-urgent court application in the Supreme Court, where they will attempt to undo the decision for a re-election, by means of an interdict. They believe a re-election will violate the Freedom of Association Right of the candidates who stood as AfriForum members within the faculties constituency. “Everyone has the right to say which organisation he or she belongs to and students likewise have the right to know the opinions and loyalties of the people they vote for,” says Charl Oberholzer, National Chairperson of AfriForum Youth.
AfriForum Youth also argues that the settlement agreement which they had reached with UP, concluded the question to whether the SRC election was free and fair. They believe current allegations of unfairness to be a misconception and false, thus they filed the court application. “We regard the case against UP as a gesture of protest against UP’s unconstitutional attempts at censorship in the elections,” says Oberholzer.
Oberholzer further states that it was after all election complaints had been finalised, that SASCO sent a threatening letter to UP, which then caused the rector and the IMB to reconsider, “UP did not take this decision based on principle or any written regulation, but rather as a result of SASCO’s political pressure.”
According to Jordan Griffiths, DASO Chairperson, the re-election demonstrates the weakness in how the SRC elections are carried out at Tuks: “What AfriForum did on Election Day is completely unacceptable, but they have also shown how weak the university is at enforcing the rules running up to the election.”
Cope also stated that the constitution needs to be amended, “A re-election shouldn’t be happening, but we would rather re-vote than accept the results as is. Next elections we call for transparency from the IEC and SEC.”
AfriForum Youth requested that UP place any re-election arrangements on hold, in order to avoid further legal action. Court proceedings are scheduled to take place later this month. The final verdict will then determine whether a re-election is in fact necessary.