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Memorandum on the lack of transformation of the University of the Free State



From the Free State Structures of:

The African National Congress
The South African Communist Party
The Congress of South African Trade Unions
The Progressive Youth Alliance


PREAMBLE:

COSATU, ANC and the SACP as well as the PYA have come together to evaluate the progress made since the dawn of our democracy in terms of transforming the University of the Free State. During the said process we were shocked but not surprised by the apparent lack of transformation within the said institution. We view such in a very serious light against the backdrop that the said institution is supposed to be fulfilling its fiduciary duties by assisting to transform our country by propagating amongst other things the importance of racial integration as well as the rooting out of racism. It is our belief that the said institution should be leading in terms of producing open minded and learned future parents.

When the video footage of the four white boys who were engaging in disgraceful acts aimed at elderly poor workers some of whom are old enough to be their grannies, it brought a lot of memories to our minds.

It reminded us of the many times the students have marched against racism within the institution; the many times the students have unequivocally raised the fact that there is racism in the institution. It reminded us of the many times when NEHAWU engaged the Management in relation to the incidents of racism which have taken place in the institution. It reminded us of the many times the management have lied through their teeth when indicating that there are no acts of racism within the institution. It reminded us of the incidents where our communities have been hurt and its development been put in harm’s way when students dropped out and went back to the communities without completing their studies, all thanks to the institutionalized and bureaucratized racism within the institution.

It then became clear to us that this institution which has received so many accolades for its performance it has actually received such to the detriment of some students who are black and such is the perfect form of institutionalized racism. It has become very clear that during all this years whilst basking under the glory of being a transforming University the UFS has actually been a breeding nest for racism and racist elements. All these barbaric actions against our people being funded from public funds and under the guise of being a transforming institution.

As we march to day we want to indicate that the management of UFS has declared war against humanity by allowing racism to breed within the institution. Such would thus be condemned with the strongest possible terms and prevented to grow.

The memorandum is intended to highlight the problems which have been confronting the community, the workers as well as the students some of these issues should be dealt with by the Minister and others by the University. We begin first with those of the Minister and then conclude with those of the University. Our demands hereunder are not a secret that is why we have put them on the same page and we would not apologize for the contents herein, in fact we are prepared to embark programs which would ensure that such are adhered to

SECTION A: MINISTER’S COMPETENCY

1. NATIONALIZATION OF THE UNIVERSITY
In line with the ANC 52nd National Conference Resolution in Polokwane which aims o achieve free undergraduate education for all we hereby demand that the process of Nationalizing the University of The Free State should commence immediately to ensure that the control of this National Asset is removed from the hands of abusive management who have turned it into a breeding ground of racism against the very Constitution of our Country.

We therefore hereby demand that the process of Nationalizing the University of the Free State to save it from its abusers should commence now, managed and led by the office of the minister of Education as informed by the said Polokwane Resolution!

2. DISBAND THE GOVERNING AND MANAGEMENT STRUCTURES OF UNIVERSITY
The governing and management structures of the UFS have turned a blind eye to the breeding and have actually nurtured the growth of racism in the institution by not dealing with racism and doing everything they can to sweep such under the carpet and shunning it every time it is raised.

These structures have actually established and consolidated a breeding nest for racism with public funds and by misleading the public. They are therefore not fit to be governing and or managing this institution. Obviously they are accountable to anyone and such is problematic.

We therefore demand that these structures should be disbanded with immediate effect and that a new Council be appointed which shall be representative of the demographics of the Free State and the Country and such structures should be accountable to cabinet through the Minister of Education

3. FOURIE AND LUYT MUST BE DISMISSED
The two gentlemen have dismally failed to manage the institution and been to advise the management and the governing structures of the University properly. Both ways they are responsible for the racism which is going on in the campus either by their actions or their omission to act against racism

It is either they participated willingly or did not know that such was going under their noses. If they participated which is quite likely they are guilty of nurturing racism and if they did not know then are not fit manage this institution if something of this magnitude can go on under their noses without them knowing it, they would qualify to be called cheque collectors and we do not need cheque collectors we want transformative managers who would live up to their fiduciary duties. The two gentlemen are essentially what we may term a ‘write-off’ as the insurance companies refer to a vehicle which may not be repaired and cannot meet those criteria of being transformative.

We therefore demand that they be dismissed with immediate effect and that a progressive administrator appointed in this institution to drive transformation.

4. PREVENT THE POSSIBLE CLOSURE OF QWAQWA AND VISTA CAMPUS
It is clear that the top management of UFS is throttling the Vista and Qwaqwa Campuses such that they would reach a level where they would be a liability to the University and the only option would to close such. This is done by not equitably distributing resources to the two campuses. As it stands Vista is having its lat intake of students in 2008 after which it would/may be closed and/or converted into an FET College as some of the managers are liberally indicating. Such would bring along untold suffering and further marginalization of the poor from the mainstream higher education.

We condemn these dirty tricks by management which are a very high level of hypocrisy in our view as the closure of these two campuses and demand that resources be equitably distributed to all the three campuses with biasness to the previously disadvantaged campuses which are both Qwaqwa and Vista Campuses with immediate effect.

5. THE MINISTER MUST INTERVENE IN TRANSFORMING THE UNIVERSITY
The minister must intervene and establish a team which shall include representatives from progressive workers and the student movements which shall give direction on this matter and manage the process of transformation.

6. REVIEW THE REGULATIONS AND THE LEGISLATION TO GIVE THE STATE A RIGHT TO INTERVENE IN TRANSFORMATION ISSUES
This point becomes clear when the intake and the out put of the University is analyzed carefully. The fact that there is less than a quarter of black students who complete their degrees within the minimum period of their academic studies whilst majority of the white students complete their studies within such is a cause for concern. We can never accept the fact all black students are dumb and only white students are clever enough to complete their studies within the minimum period. What becomes clear therefore is the fact that academic progress of students in the UFS is remote controlled by management along racial basis and such is embedded within the culture of the institution.

We therefore hereby demand that the policies and regulations of the institution should be reviewed under the guidance of the minister with the involvement of the progressive movements to ensure that we out root any forms of institutionalized racism within the institution. Such a process should commence now!

7. BLACKLISTING OF THE REITZ TWO FROM OTHER UNIVERSITIES AND THE WITHOLDING OF THE REITZ TWO’S QUALIFICATIONS
We are compelled beyond description with words by the Racist video footage which was compiled by the four white racist male students from Reitz Hostel. What is indisputable is the fact that they would not have produced such if those workers white and worse if they were Afrikaner. The students have actually committed a very serious crime against humanity which is no less than what Nazi Germany did against the Jews during the World War. What is also indisputable is the fact that the management allowed Reitz to become a monster it has become. We therefore need to deal with this monster and send a message to anyone who may harbor intentions to commit such actions again in future! As a matter of fact a similar incident may take place again unless such is dealt with, with punishment that befits the transgression!

Of the four perpetrators of the racist video we have learned that two of them have finished their studies in 2007 whilst the other two have deregistered for the current academic year. As a matter of fact they could be attending lectures in other similar institution in the country as we speak whilst the other two could be employed and working somewhere with their qualifications.

We therefore hereby demand that the two who have deregistered should be banished from registering at any institution of higher learning in the country for a minimum FIVE YEARS and those who have completed their studies their qualifications should be withheld for a minimum of FIVE YEARS.

CONCLUSION: We demand a response from the Minister on all the abovementioned issues within Seven (7) days from the date of handing over this memorandum


SECTION B: UNIVERSITY’S COMPETENCY

1. 50/50 INTEGRATION OF STUDENTS IN ALL THE HOSTELS
We demand the implementation of the integration policy with immediate effect and such should be done on the basis of 50/50 race representation.

2. AFRICANIZE THE UNIVERSITY
The name of the University along with the names of the buildings, streets and other site should reflect an African atmosphere. Statues of our African heroes should be erected along the University yards to ensure that the University represents the community it is serving. It is not only serving Afrikaner community therefore such should be reflective and not create an atmosphere that would make Africans to feel like intruders, foreigners or even unwanted in their own country. African has as much right as any Afrikaner to feel at home in the institution. We therefore hereby demand the Africanization of the University with immediate effect!

3. REITZ MUST BE CLOSED
Fourteen years into democracy the management have failed to integrate the students at Reitz hostel. As a matter of fact the management have failed to integrate the hostel probably due to the fact that it is what they want which is to create a breeding nest of racism.

What is logical at this point is to close down the place and let it go down the doldrums of history as last haven of racism which was effectively dealt with. We therefore hereby demand the immediate closure of the Reitz hostel!

4. THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE DISMISSAL OF ANDRIES PHOLOANA IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF UFS MANAGEMENT AND THEY SHOULD INTERVENE FOR HIS REINTATEMENT
There is one employee who was given a spiked drink by the students of Reitz and he later became intoxicated on duty and was subsequently dismissed by Prestige. This act was motivated by Racism which the management of UFS has been nurturing in the University for the past fourteen years into democracy.

They are therefore responsible and equally guilty for the dismissal of the said employee as the students who have spiked the drink if not more! We know for the fact that UFS has power to instruct the management of Prestige about who they want hired or fired as has been the case previously.

We therefore demand that the management of UFS should ensure the immediate and unconditional re-instatement of Cde Andries Pholoana with immediate effect.

5. IEA MUST BE DISBANDED AND ELECTIONS BE MANAGED BY A CREDIBLE INDEPENDENT INSTITUTION
IEA has been conducting its affairs along camouflaged racial lines and such is wrong.

We therefore demand that it be immediately disbanded and an independent and credible institution be given the responsibility to run the SRC elections in the University.

6. DEVELOPMENT AND ATTAINMENT OF EMPLOYMENT EQUITY TARGETS
We demand an immediate setting of clear targets in terms of Employment Equity and such should be done jointly between the University and the Unions in the institution which have an interest of transformation at heart.

7. REVIEW OF THE PROCUREMENT POLICIES TO BENEFIT ALL SECTIONS OF THE COMMUNITY
We demand the immediate review of the procurement policies which would see other companies coming into the campus to supply the university as opposed to the current status where it is as if there companies who have inherited the right o supply the university.

8. AFFECTED EMPLOYEES SHOULD BE GIVEN THE SUPPORT IN TERMS OF UNDERSTANDING AND RESOURCES THEY MAY REQUIRE
We demand that the employees affected by the video footage should be given the necessary support required by their employer as well as the UFS at the cost of the University for as long as such may be required. We are aware that some steps have taken place and acknowledge that and call upon the management to do that effectively properly and not engage on such as a public relations damage control.

In Conclusion, we demand a response on these issues from the management within Seven (7) days from the date of handing over this memorandum.

By e-mail and at: http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71627?oid=87347&sn=Detail

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