VUT autonomy compromised - EFF

2014-10-13 16:53
(File: EFF)

(File: EFF)

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Johannesburg - The institutional autonomy of the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) is compromised after it retracted an agreement it had with the EFF, the party said on Monday.

"The Economic Freedom Fighters condemns VUT's withdrawal of its decision to give EFF a venue for its national people's assembly taking place in December this year," spokesperson Mbuyiseni Quintin Ndlozi said in a statement.

"VUT has retracted its agreement to give this venue to the EFF even after taking a deposit of R250 000 and taking the EFF leadership on a site visit for proper landscape planning."

VUT spokesperson Mike Khuboni said the EFF's allegations were inaccurate, as the university would not have accepted the money without the venue being confirmed.

"I remember the EFF representative who came to me to request the venue. The gentleman, he wanted the venue during the time when the university is closed," Khuboni said.

"What we mentioned to him that normally the university, when it closes, there are no people who provide services such as cleaning, toiletries, security,… everything as required."

With there being no university officials on campus at that time, the VUT could not let out the venue.

"We don't hire venues out to the community when the university is closed because there is no staff available to adequately manage the venue. That was the main reason," he said.

"We asked him to bring forward the conference, to say early December, just before the university closes, then the venue would be available. They [the EFF] declined that request."

He said the VUT offered venues to whoever needed them because the community had the right to use them, and if the university could not provide a venue, it suggested alternatives.

Ndlozi said the VUT was under direct administration by the higher education department, and as such, was taking political instruction to deny the EFF access to its campus.

"This is despite the fact that the management has already, rightly, given the EFF a venue to hold its people's assembly, thus compromising its institutional autonomy and academic independence," he said.

"[The] VUT, by closing its ranks simply to satisfy the bully tactics of the ANC, has ceded its rights to institutional autonomy and rendered itself a mere ANC branch."

The EFF had already spent millions of rands on merchandise and other conference material believing it had reached an agreement with the VUT.

"EFF will, therefore, take the university to court and make sure that the venue is given back for the people's assembly," Ndlozi said.

Should the venue not be given back to the EFF, the party would also go through the courts to ensure the money spent on merchandise and conference materials was fully replaced by the VUT, as it bore its name.

Read more on:    eff  |  johannesburg  |  education  |  politics

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