Cape Town – Whistleblower Edward Snowden has been elected as rector at a top Scotland University, a post previously held by Albert Luthuli and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
In 2013 a US court charged Snowden with violating the espionage act for leaking the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance programme.
According to The Scotsman the rectorship represents a historic position which exists at Scotland’s five ancient universities.
The job’s duties include representing students, raising concerns and chairing the university court at Glasgow.
BBC reports that Snowden beat three other candidates to the post where he received 3 124 votes in the first round and 3 347 in the second round. The nearest candidate received 1 563 votes.
Some students have expressed hopes that Snowden will be able to deliver the inaugural address via video link or a pre-recorded message.
Students at Glasgow have a reputation for electing heavyweight figures including prominent South African struggle icons Albert Luthuli and Winnie Mandela.
According to the University of Glasgow Luthuli was unable to travel to Scotland at the time of his election due to charges of high treason in South Africa.
During his entire tenure as rector Luthuli was represented by the Scottish Liberal and Labour clubs.
Winnie Mandela was installed as rector from 1987 until 1990 but was asked to step down in 1989 after she was implicated in the murder of a Soweto youth.
Snowden currently lives in Russia where he has received temporary asylum.