UFS to oppose claims

2015-07-08 06:00
SUMMONED: Prof. Jonathan Jansen.     
Sidwell Guduka

SUMMONED: Prof. Jonathan Jansen. Photo: Sidwell Guduka

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THE University of the Free State (UFS) said on Friday (03/07) it would “vigorously oppose” the claims of former students Charl Blom and Cobus Muller, who are suing the university and rector Jonathan Jansen for millions.

The two, who were suspended for allegedly assaulting a black student on campus last year, are claiming R6,15 million in the Bloemfontein High Court.

They were found not guilty by the Bloemfontein Regional Court last year on charges of reckless driving, crimen injuria, attempted murder and assault.

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) found it was, “unable to find any corroborating evidence to make a conclusive finding of racism and violation of human rights”.

The two were suspended after another student, Muzi Gwebu, claimed they had tried to run him over with their bakkie on the campus in February last year. He alleged they had assaulted him when he confronted them.

Blom and Muller want R5 million from the UFS, Jansen and Prof. Teuns Verschoor, who acted as a disciplinary official, for delaying their entrance into the labour market.

They want R500 000 each for defamation from Jansen and the UFS in connection with two emails Jansen sent to all UFS students about the matter.

In addition, they want R150 000 for expenses incurred during the saga.

UFS spokesperson Lacea Loader said the institution did not usually comment on its legal matters, but was making an exception due to the publicity the case had received.

“On the advice of legal counsel, the university plans to vigorously oppose the claims of the former students,” Loader stated.

“When all the evidence is made public, the university believes that those claims will be found to be without merit.”

AfriForum Jeug, which is helping Blom and Muller, said summons had been served on Jansen and the UFS

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