Mystery surrounds CPUT VC's special leave

2016-10-31 16:22
Prins Nevhutalu (right) at the CPUT assembly of stakeholders. (Paul Herman, News24)

Prins Nevhutalu (right) at the CPUT assembly of stakeholders. (Paul Herman, News24)

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Cape Town - Mystery surrounds the "special leave" granted to Cape Peninsula University of Technology's vice-chancellor, as the institution appointed a second person in a month to act in his place during protests.

The university announced that council member Dr John Volmink would take over from Monday, after Prof Louis Fourie was temporarily installed earlier in October.

Fourie was standing in for Dr Prins Nevhutalu, whose resignation protesting students were demanding. Students had previously accused Nevhutalu of corruption and sexual harassment.

He incurred their wrath when he left a general assembly at the institution on October 7, saying he had another appointment.

CPUT spokesperson Lauren Kansley said she did not have the mandate to say why Nevhutalu went on special leave. The person authorised to do so was not available to comment.

“We wish Dr Volmink all the wisdom and pledge our support to him. Working together as a university community we are sure to reach a conclusion to the current crisis,” CPUT said in a statement.

Volmink is a mathematician, who hails from Athlone in Cape Town. He previously worked in senior positions at other institutions of higher education and played a central role in curriculum reform in South Africa.
CPUT in Bellville is one of the campuses that has been hardest hit during the student protests. Last week, it decided to stop face-to-face teaching. At one point, the institution warned students and visitors to exercise caution when driving into the campus. It said only CPUT vehicles would be covered by insurance.

Two security guards were injured after allegedly being locked in a burning building at the Bellville campus recently. One person was charged with attempted murder. Fees Must Fall students distanced themselves from the incident.

Kansley said students should keep watching their emails and university communications to find out whether they would write their exams this year, or in January. Departments would decide whether enough work had been done to write exams this year.

Kansley said the process of notifying applicants of acceptance for 2017 was continuing off-campus.
There had been some delays as a result of the protests.


Read more on:    cput  |  cape town  |  education  |  university fees

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