- Published on Thursday, 11 October 2012 23:32
- Written by Alexandra Nagel
On Wednesday, October 10th, the SRC announced the disqualification of DASO candidates running for office in 2013, after many complaints around the candidates' campaign were found to be valid.
The SRC Electoral Committee was approached by students with claims of misconduct from candidates during campaign week. According to the SRC appeals report, allegations included DASO candidates compromising the Vula voting system, drastically exceeding their campaign expenditure limit without a justified cause, and failing to disclose the visits of senior DA politicians as part of their campaign week plans.
The Elections Committee initially found DASO guilty of all the above-mentioned claims. The Elections Committee sanctioned DASO with a fine; however, many students and interested parties appealed the Election Committee's penalties, arguing that they were too light.
Appeals were directed to the SRC, which set up a Commission of Inquiry to investigate and make recommendations regarding the appeals. The Commission found the Election Committee's punishments inappropriate, given the weight of the assertions and advised that DASO's fine be set aside, that the organisation be banned from running candidates in the next elections, or that candidates participate in community service at a set number of hours.
This recommendation was then reviewed by the incumbent SRC, who felt that issuing community service was too individualistic and was not a feasible punishment for DASO as a whole. Additionally, the SRC Constitution makes provisions for the disqualification of candidates who overspend.
“We hope that this will set a precedent that subversion of the electoral process will not be tolerated at UCT,” the report stated, continuing: “nor will we allow the political independence of this institution to be undermined in the service of external political agendas.”
Appeals against the SRC's decision must be made within 24 hours of the announcement, and thus must be submitted by 3pm on Friday, October 12th. Appeals must be directed to Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price. Should an appeal be lodged, Price will have 10 days to make the final decision. No further appeals can be lodged.
Editor's note: This article was edited Friday, October 12th at 1.40am. Clarity regarding the charges against DASO, and the Commission of Inquiry's recommendations were made. Additionally, it is important to note that the SRC cannot lodge an appeal with the Vice-Chancellor; this must be done by the parties themselves, or other concerned students.