CAPE TOWN: Former SRC President, Karabo Khakhau, has been guilty of abusing SRC resources to defame other student leaders, the University of Cape Town’s Student Governance Court has found.
Khakhau was accused of having sent mass emails to UCT students defaming current SRC president, Mthobisi Mngomezulu and Treasurer-General, Christopher Logan after they were both elected in their position – respectively – during the reshuffle. Mngomezulu and Logan were elected after Khakhau and other six Democratic Alliance Student Organisation (DASO) declined her nominations.
A disgruntled Khakhau was accused of sending a scathing letter to the student populace rejecting the reshuffle on behalf of the DASO UCT caucus. In her email, Khakhau blamed the reshuffle on the actions of two ‘delinquent DASO UCT members’ Mngomezulu and Logan aided by PASMA and EFFSC.
Khakhau added that “Mngomezulu and Logan, despite getting the least number of votes amongst the DASO caucus during the SRC elections, have for a long time terrorized the DASO-UCT caucus and branch in their quest for power, and executive positions.”
Khakhau also mentioned that she and the rest of the DASO UCT would submit a complaint to the Constitutional Review Committee which in response gave the opinion that the meeting was constitutionally valid.
We understand that the matter is currently under the University’s Student Tribunal. This is a separate matter from the complaint laid by Logan and Mngomezulu to the Student Governance Court accusing Khakhau of abusing the mass email system for her own personal use and defaming them.
Both Mngomezulu and Logan went to Student Governance Court to lay a complaint against Khakhau.
The two complainants were represented by Sinoxolo Booi, who sought a declaratory order stating that the actions of the respondent (Khakhau) harmed the character, dignity and public image of the first and second complainant’s as student leaders. The relief sought was as follows:
a) A declaratory order stating that the actions of the respondent harmed the character, dignity and public image of the first and second complainant’s as student leaders.
b) A declaratory order stating that the actions of the respondent brought the office of the SRC into disrepute.
The SGC ruled that Khakhau defamed Mngomezulu and Logan as student leaders and that she had brought the reputation of the SRC into disrepute as both complainants were members of the student body thus tarnishing their names and characters through the mass email which has an impact on public perception of the SRC as a whole.
Khakhau was ordered to send another email, this time an apology to Logan and Mngomezulu no later than 17h00 of the fifth working day of the deliverance of the judgment.
Commenting on the verdict , Logan said that “the judgment is a victory for student leadership and accountability at UCT”.