Election regulation violations
The IMB noted with some concern several election regulation transgressions, including poster regulation violations, society activities relating to promoting candidates, and the distribution of “freebies” by political parties. The IMB dismissed most of these complaints but noted that, in future, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and Department of Student Affairs (DSA) “should regulate society activity more rigorously during the campaigning period”.

 

Vote count irregularities and KPMG audit
With regard to complaints by Sasco and the EFFSC-UP that the vote count and voters’ roll did not correspond (particularly at the IT voting station), the IMB ruled that the number of votes cast and number of people per voter roll are not compared to determine if reconciliation is possible. Instead, the number of clean ballot papers were counted before voting took place and were then compared to the number of total used and unused ballot papers after voting at each particular voting station. The IMB further added that students who were not listed in the voters roll were allowed to vote, provided they had a dated proof of registration with identification. They noted, however, that because the students’ details were not recorded, a comparison between the number of votes and the voters’ roll could not be done.

 

Unsealed ballot-boxes
On the matter of unsealed ballot-boxes, the IMB stated that all votes contained in the ballot boxes had already been counted and the result slips were signed off by all party agents.

 

Lack of stickers from Tuks Toonbank for posters
A member of Sasco lodged a complaint that Tuks Toonbank had an insufficient number of stickers in stock that needed to be stuck onto approved election posters. In response, the DSA stated that they did not make provision for societies that printed their own posters. As a result, the DSA only provided for 40 posters and poster stickers per candidate, as required by the Constitution for Student Governance (CSG).

After poster approvals, Afriforum had brought 400 pre-printed posters to Toonbank. According to the DSA, they did not want to prevent Afriforum from putting up their posters, and so alternative plans were made. The IMB noted its displeasure at the lack of “appropriate planning of the DSA and IEC in that insufficient stickers for election posters were available”.

 

KPMG audit report
The KPMG audit report, among other things, highlighted the differences in vote counts by the IEC and KPMG. The following differences in the vote count were found with regard to each SRC portfolio.

• President and deputy-president: 68 vote difference.

• Secretary and deputy-secretary: 32 vote difference.

• Treasurer: 111 vote difference.

• Facilities, safety and security: 139 votes difference.

• Marketing, media and communications: 132 vote difference.

• Study finance: 72 vote difference.

• Postgraduate and international students: 98 vote difference.

• Societies: 47 vote difference.

• Transformation and student success: 49 vote difference.

• Day and external students: 12 vote difference.

The highest difference in the vote counts occurred with the Treasurer portfolio for Nomtha Gobe (96 votes), the facilities, safety and security portfolio for Brian Nkala (95 vote difference), and the postgraduate and international students portfolio for Benjamin Ho (91 vote difference). The IMB declared that, despite several small differences in the vote counts, the results of the SRC 2015 election remained unchanged.

 

Perdeby and SRC supplement
The KPMG report also noted that student affairs management had advised KPMG that Perdeby did not form part of the “legal and formal process of the SRC election”. The report noted with concern that the DSA was of this opinion, adding that according to Regulation 8(2) of Annexure A of the CSG, the CEO of the IEC must hand the list of candidate submissions together with their election manifestos to Perdeby for publication in an “election issue”. The report identified four election candidates whose names were not published in the “election edition” of Perdeby. The IMB eventually ruled that responsibility for the election edition fell jointly on the DSA and the candidates to provide the requested information timeously.

The IMB made a final ruling and included several recommendations for future elections. Among others, the IMB recommended that the IEC effectively and consistently communicate the election and election campaigning rules to candidates and candidate representatives, with specific reference to the CSG. Furthermore, the DSA and IEC must carefully regulate society activities during the election and campaigning period. Finally, the IMB stated that CEO of the IEC should be appointed well in advance of the 2016 SRC elections, and that the CEO should not be a DSA staff member.