A few weeks ago I read an article written by yourself, on the need for radical change in education.
Being an educator at heart, I eagerly read your article. A few sentences in particular hit home. Your first condition for this radical change was: The government must lead and be held accountable for good governance of the education system.
That’s where I felt tears jump to my eyes. I downed a Carling because it was after 20:00 and my preparations for class were done. Just in time too, because I got the most important sentence in your article:
Teaching is a noble profession that should not be tainted by those lacking in commitment to give of their best to each and every child.
I am a university teacher. Experience at my institution – Cape Peninsula University of Technology - has taught me that good governance in the education system is a pipe dream, especially because every citizen of this country sees that government is not accountable.
We all know about the schools. WHAT PEOPLE DO NOT REALISE IS THAT CORRUPTION 101 IS BEING TAUGHT AT UNIVERSITY.
At this stage, at least 5 universities and universities of technology out of 23 are under investigation, i.e. 20% of higher education institutions in this country. If you add Cape Peninsula University, which has managed to stay out of the media, it’s 25%. One quarter of HE institutions in South Africa!
Yes, Dr Ramphele, I cried in my beer when I read your article, but when I read Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s statement this evening that South Africans need to stand together to fight a culture of corruption and greed , I laughed and cried hysterically, wishing that I could afford Glenfidich.
You see Dr Ramphele and Finance Minister Gordhan: When corruption flourishes at university, there is no hope for any country.
Unbeknownst to you, Corruption 101 is offered at CPUT. No Dr Ramphele, education is not a noble profession – that we know from striking teachers with matric qualifications who turn up late for work or don’t turn up at all.
We all know that some universities in South Africa are the best at medicine, or engineering or accounting. At CPUT we specialize in corruption – the proof – we do it so well that not even the Western Cape media bothers to take us on:
Here follows the basics of Corruption 101 – CPUT’s area of specialization:
1. When you as newly appointed VC or CEO meet with the senior managers for the first time, tell them: You will carry out my orders to the letter. If you are not prepared to do that, come and talk about your severance pay after this meeting.
2. Immediately promote your biggest allies – mostly people without any real credibility but with vicious tongues. In the Western Cape, people are scared of gossiping.
3. As soon as you can, get rid of people who “oppose” you – you still have the sentimental support of a bunch of ANC activists who honestly believe in justice.
4. By now, senior managers have realised how you operate. This is quite evident when one of your deputy vice chancellor says: staff must learn to manage their boss, according to Dr Actually, Actually Nhlapo, the marriage councilor) NB:: (aside in the Shakespearian fashion): NO, SENIOR MANAGERS SHOULD SPENT THEIR ENERGY MANAGING THEIR SUBORDINATES AND STUDENTS AND NOT THEIR BOSS!!!
5. Convince the Council of your academic institution (or the board of your company) that you are seriously into students and their well-being. (Keep in mind that the council members cannot afford any further negative publicity because their term is coming to an end – Noseweek was enough).
6. This is the time when you start rehiring people who left the institution before your appointment. Focus on people who had ordinary jobs at CPUT, including those who left under a cloud (regardless of fraud accusations, anger management problems, sheer incompetence etc)
7. Re-appoint those ex-employees at levels at least 2 or 3 job grades above their previous positions. They will be eternally grateful.
8. You are now almost there. But now it is important to get rid of people who have not been completely enthusiastic about your vision for self-empowerment and greed. This is especially the time to get rid of people who originally supported you and are now “disillusioned”. DO NOT TOLERATE ANY SENTIMENTAL IDEAS OR DISSENT!
9. Ensure that by now, you have managed to get your Human Resources boss completely under control. He is after all in charge of all appointments and MORE IMPORTANTLY: PROMOTIONS. It might just be necessary to force him to change your very own contract – originally a 5-year tenure. It must now be a permanent position because you have seen that your fear tactics work. Nobody defies you because they are afraid of losing their jobs. With the new council in place, you are on your way to the proverbial finishing line.
10. Ensure that you have involved enough senior managers and HODs in your schemes. They won’t dare go to the media because by now they are basically complicit, infected with the new South African AIDS: CORRUPTION. They will merely complain to their colleagues and subordinates about all the irregularities you commit.
11. Your five year tenure is over!! This is where you produce your fake permanent contract. Ignore any opposition in council (they’re new and your friends, remember!) DEMAND A R6 MILLION RAND GOLDEN HANDSHAKE OR EXTENSION OF YOUR CONTRACT, I.E. REGARDLESS OF YOUR PERFORMANCE.
12. For good measure, ensure that the HR head gets suspended and most importantly: A golden handshake.
13. Now: Restructure the deputy vice chancellor operations at your institution – that is the “useless and incompetent guy”, who accidentally happened to be the boss of the HR director. Oops, was he also the guy who oversaw tenders???
14. CRUCIAL: IGNORE ALLEGATIONS OF IRREGULAR TENDERS. But don’t forget to tell your friends and confidants on campus about your personal ambitions.
They will be absolutely in awe about your ruthlessness, your resolve to further your own goals, your insistence on being somebody in society despite your lack of qualifications for the job. They will absolutely respect the fact that you need a good pension.
NB: THIS IS KEY: do not tolerate any dissention, dismiss with a golden handshake those who oppose you and might be a liability. Forget that you are almost 60 and keep on trying to further your own goals.
That concludes the basics of Corruption101, Dr Ramphele. Oops, forgot something: when you get sick and tired of students protesting about academic exclusion, terrible hostels, etc, etc, etc, etc, too boring to mention: Have a knee operation.
Oops, forgot something. Go to church very regularly. In the Western Cape especially, people are very gullible. One of the first things they say about a person is. She’s a very good person. Very religious.
That, dear Dr Ramphele and Minister Gordhan – so-called crusader against corruption, concludes the basics of Corruption101 – the area in which CPUT specializes.
Sorry people: Forgot this one. Special message to Finance Minister Gordhan. WHAT HAVE YOU LATELY DONE ABOUT THE ANCYL LEADER WHO SAID AT CPUT THAT WOMEN WHO ASK FOR A TAXI FEE IN THE MORNING ARE NOT RAPE VICTIMS? In case you forgot, that’s the dude who earned a rather ordinary salary, but build multi-million rand mansions. (Shakespearian aside: Is Tokio Sexwale involved somewhere?)
EISH, Dr Ramphele and Mr Gordhan, if only….
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