Bloemfontein – Results of the recent Central University of Technology (CUT)’s Student Representative Body (SRC) elections between SASCO (South African Student Congress) and the Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (PASMA) are earmarked to be confirmed next week.

The results of the elections that took place on 22 August 2012 at CUT’s Bloemfontein and Welkom campuses remain unconfirmed following their announcement by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on 24 August 2012. This as a result of concerns raised by some groups of students regarding the IEC’s management of the election process.

“Corporate and cooperative governance, fairness and transparency are of utmost importance to the University and we are taking the matter very seriously,” says Vice Chancellor and Principal Prof Thandwa Mthembu. “It is for this reason that we put our trust in the regional IEC to ensure that free and fair elections take place at our University when Student Representative Councils are chosen, and have been doing so for the past three years.

“When some student groups raised their concerns on Friday, 24 August, I addressed them personally, informing them about the process of investigation that would ensue. I subsequently launched a preliminary investigation on Monday 27 August when all the aggrieved parties presented their grievances regarding the management of the elections by the IEC. It was agreed by all parties involved that there will be no inauguration of the elected Student Representative Council until the IEC report has been received and the preliminary investigation concluded. I must express my utmost appreciation of the cautiousness and maturity of our students who have confidence in our system and are always willing to give management a chance for engagement, and who respect facts and evidence and the rule of law.

“We had hoped to receive the IEC report earlier this week but unfortunately there has been a delay from the IEC as they have their own internal procedures and processes that need to be followed. We look forward to getting clarity on this impasse once we have been presented with the IEC report and concluded the preliminary investigation” concludes Mthembu.

Thapelo Mosina, Provincial Commissar of the PASMA and Thembekile Tsatsa Party Agent for SASCO both confirmed that they agreed with the decision and view taken by CUT management to stop further processes relating to the SRC election until the full report is obtained from the IEC and the preliminary investigation has been concluded.

Central University of Technology in Bloemfontein has positioned itself as a leader in many fields ranging from learning programmes to research, rapid prototyping and manufacturing. Through its technological innovations CUT aims to contribute towards the social-economic development in the region as well as in the rest of South Africa, Africa and Internationally.

The existence of duly elected SRC’s within higher education institutions is legislated by Higher Education Act, No 101 of 1997 (as amended). The SRC’s are an integral part of governance structures of our public higher education institutions. They serve as an organ that advocates for students’ interest. Most importantly they serve as students’ own platform which enables them to contribute meaningfully in the transformation of universities. For the past three years CUT has been privileged to make use of the technical and professional expertise of IEC with a view of building confidence and credibility of the SRC Elections on CUT grounds. Guided by SCR Constitution duly approved by the university’s council and Statue members of the SRC are elected into office by legitimate students.