Professor Lourens Van Staden Dear Professor Van Staden The following serves as reference:(i) My application to study at TUT In this capacity, I work closely with journalists and communicators. To complement this experiential knowledge, I thought it would be in my interest to study for an MTech in Journalism. I put these facts to indicate that the decision to do an MTech in Journalism was not something out of the blue. Let me now spell out the various violations, irregularities and infractions that are a source of concern.1. The relationship between the University and the Student is confidential, and is considered sacrosanct. TUT has violated my rights by disclosing its interactions with me to the public.2. TUT colluded in giving an impression that I used my position as minister of communications to earn a place at the university. My application, the personal email and personal postal addresses all point to the contrary.3. When I applied, I was given an impression that both my qualifications and experience would suffice for me to receive a favourable consideration. As a result, I was given a student number. I understood that since I did not have a degree in Journalism, I would be expected to undergo the process of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). To this end, I submitted the required documentation. I was informed that the assessment of the RPL portfolio may take up to 6 months. I was advised by the department to attend classes in the meantime while my application was being considered. Strangely, the process to assess my application was seemingly concluded in 3 days. The interview aspect of the process was not conducted.4. In advising me of the outcome of my application, TUT indicated that without work experience in Media or Journalism Industry, the RPL process was not a viable option. The letter went further to state that “based on your current three-year qualification, you will still be required to apply via the RPL process”. This is not true as I hold a 4-year Bachelor’s degree. I have been in the media space for the last 7 years at the very least.5. In furnishing my contact details, I scrupulously ensured that I used my personal address and personal email address. I had also expected that the business of registration is a matter normally handled by the university’s registrar. To my great surprise, the letter informing me of the outcome of my application was sent to my work address. Even perplexing was that it was signed by the vice chancellor and principal.6. To crown it all, I was surprised that the matter that should normally be a matter between a student and the University has become breaking news as if I have engaged in some unforgivable conduct.A combination of the above raises a number of questions which leaves one with an impression that there is more to this than meets the eye. I will appreciate it also if TUT could correct the impression created that I “bulldozed” my application and forced myself into the classes of the university. Further, the letter should correct the impression that I applied twice and was twice rejected. - Muthambi is minister of communication.Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.