A collective of students and staff working to purge the oppressive remnants of apartheid in pursuit of a truly African university called Open Stenllenbosch has charged the authorities of the institution to dissolve the Council of the University over deep rooted corruption that has scourged the institution.
It is alleged the former deputy director of student fees Chris de Beer and former chairperson of the Stellenbosch Rugby Club Jurie Roux were engaged in a student fee fraud making unauthorized transfers of the university’s funds to the tune of R32 million between 2002 and 2010 when both were in office.
“…we are also calling out Stellenbosch University administration for their lack of transparency in the handling of the alleged student fee fraud case of Chris de Beer (former deputy director of student fees) and Jurie Roux (former chairperson of the Stellenbosch Rugby Club). Between 2002 and 2010 Roux and de Beer allegedly made numerous unauthorised transfers of university funds (1). It is unclear how much money was involved in these transactions; however we know that Stellenbosch University is currently suing Roux and de Beer for R32 million in damages. The funds are believed to have been used for various rugby club activities, including bursaries for rugby players and ‘pavilion funds’. In 2010 Roux left Stellenbosch. De Beer was fired in 2012” the statement said.
The group took a swipe at the management for fraudulently managing the fees of students, a situation it describes sa “undermining the pursuit of free education”
“Corruption in senior positions at the university affects all aspects of transformation. The pursuit of free education is clearly undermined by fraudulent mismanagement of student fees. However, mismanagement of Human Resources goes further in entrenching the unwelcoming institutional culture at Stellenbosch University. Council in particular has positioned themselves as the protectors of this culture and a of language policy that uses multilingualism to exclude rather than include”.
It wailed over efforts by the university to intimidate Black staff members, who try to speak against the canker.
“We are deeply concerned as well with the reports that we have been receiving from members of staff that allege intimidation and harassment, in particular of Black staff members, who have tried to speak against this institutional culture. We have reason to suspect that there is a systematic pattern of mismanagement of Human Resources at the university” it regreted.
Open Stellenbosch has therefore challenged the management to among other things, respond to allegations of serious corruption in convocation, council, and the Stellenbosch Trust and dissolve the council of the university
“We have previously demanded that Stellenbosch University’s council be dissolved, and re-iterate that call now. We furthermore demand today that Tobie de Coning, Chief Director: Strategic Initiatives and Human Resources, and Prof Leopoldt van Huyssteen, Executive Director: Operations and Finance:
Publically issue a response to the article by Noloyiso Mthembu and published in the Weekend Argus which alleges serious corruption in convocation, council, and the Stellenbosch Trust.
Release the KPMG report on the alleged corrupt activities of Chris de Beer and Jurie Roux.
Disclose the full procedures that are followed in appointing members of staff, and in particular with reference to the appointment of Mr Pieter Kloppers to dean of students.
Disclose the anti-corruption controls that the university has in place, and in particular explain why they failed in the case of de Beer and Roux” it demanded.
Stellenbosch University was recently ranked by the Times Higher Education (THE) as the fourth best University in Africa. That notwithstanding, the University gained some notoriety in the press over a video film that went viral exposing ongoing racism in the University.