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WATCH: Varsity student intimidates Electoral Commission CEO at Wits University

Published Mar 23, 2022


Video by Timothy Bernard

Johannesburg - Wits University has been asked to probe an incident that involves a student intimidating Electoral Commission (IEC) CEO Sy Mamabolo following a launch of the Youth Voter Registration Campaign at the Institution on Tuesday.

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A video captured by IOL shows the individual - whose name is yet to be verified - pointing and shouting at Mamabolo, telling him that if he (Mamabolo) "treats his employees (IEC staff) like this, he is not going to do it with him.

The student in question, who also used expletives, told Mamabolo that he would not conduct interviews with the media unless he apologised to him on how he had addressed him earlier.

It appears that Mamabolo's response to the student is what triggered the incident.

Security guards at the university had to be called in to calm him down while Mamabolo opted to leave.

According to IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela, the IEC has left the matter in the hands of the university because their work was to gather and help students vote.

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She said the university has its internal procedures on how they are dealing with the kind of behaviour they witnessed yesterday.

When asked about the steps that the IEC have taken to deal with matters, she said: "Look, we are just visitors at Wits, and really our work as the IEC is to make sure that students know how and why they should vote, but the matter is with the institution now."

She added they did not take the full details of the student in question as they wanted to avoid the tension at all costs.

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Bapela clarified that they are unsure whether the student is involved in any political structures in the university or not because the incident happened out of nowhere while the CEO was doing his interviews.

"The disruption happened out of nowhere because the CEO was busy doing interviews just after the official programme had ended," she said.

Students dean Jerome September confirmed that the said student approached Mamabolo during one of his media interviews.

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"The chief electoral officer gave the student an opportunity to state his case, after which the matter was resolved. The chief electoral officer thereafter proceeded with his media interviews," he said. "As this matter was resolved, the university does not have any further comment," he added.

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Political Bureau