Stellenbosch University
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Statement - Convocation election process
Author: Corporate Communication and Marketing / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking
Published: 22/03/2024

Stellenbosch University (SU) confirms that on the afternoon of 20 March 2024, a complaint of non-compliance with the Procedure to nominate and elect the Convocation Executive Committee (the Procedure), with specific reference to the use of the SU trademark, was registered with the Office of the Registrar. The complaint was considered in accordance with due process and in consultation with the necessary bodies, including the SU Trademark Office as well as the University's Brand Identity Office.

The complaint indicated that four candidates contravened the provision (par 4.11) that states:

Nominated members may campaign through their personal social media platforms after the nominations have been published and during the elections, until the elections are concluded. Candidates who use the SU logo, brand, database, or mailing list will be disqualified as candidates.

In writing to members of Convocation, Dr Ronel Retief, Registrar, said that it is clear from the reported campaign material that the poster design is based on the SU brand. “The design elements and overall aesthetic were found to closely associate the campaign material with SU's trademark. The use of Stellenbosch University's name together with the maroon/gold colour combination and design elements are considered part of the SU brand".  

The Procedure that was clearly communicated to candidates specifically prohibits the use of the SU brand in campaigns, and correspondence also noted a previous instance in which a candidate was disqualified on the basis of this clause.

“It is important to note in the instance of a contravention of this nature and upon notice to the office of the Registrar, such office has no alternative but to apply the rules and disqualify the candidate(s) from further participating in the election."

“Although Dr Theo de Jager is also on the campaign poster, he is not affected by this transgression as he was, at the time, already elected to the position of President. He was the only valid nomination received for the vacancy of President and declared duly elected on Monday 18 March 2024. Dr De Jager will serve a three-year term as President starting 19 March 2024."

“As Mr Smit, Mr Pieters, Ms De Taillefer and Mr De Villiers are all disqualified, the remaining candidates are automatically elected to the positions they were nominated for as the number of candidates now equals the vacancies."

The following candidates are declared duly elected on 21 March 2024, starting their term on 22 March 2024:

  1. Vice President – Mr Lwazi Phakade
  2. Secretary – Ms Nomzamo Ntombela
  3. Additional members – Ms Taryn Cohn (Moos) and Mr Simphiwe Malaza

A member of the Convocation Executive Committee holds office for three years and may be re-elected but may not hold their office for more than three consecutive terms.

The election portal is now closed and all the votes casted are discarded as this is no longer a contested election.