The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) and the South African Students’ Congress (SASCO) in the Western Cape are jointly calling on the members of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology Council (CPUT) to protect the integrity of the institution by electing candidates with a proven track record and moral standing in society to the Exco of Council at upcoming Council on 11 October 2014.
We have been made aware that the outgoing chairperson of the university council, Mr Mbulelo Bikwana is running for a second term. We want to voice our serious opposition to his re-election and call upon the members of council not to vote for him. Mr Bikwana has committed some unpardonable transgressions and has proven to be an abnormally unreflective person, lacking in self restraint and with a self- serving streak.
Amongst a long list of his iniquitous crimes, he did the following:
– He has interfered with the operations of the institution on numerous occasions including his attempt to replace the current medical aid brokers with his preferred service provider and calling meetings with staff and student leadership without executive management and outside the scope of his mandate.
– He influenced the university Council to appoint the former chief director of infrastructural development and facility management, who after resigning was promoted to a higher position as executive director.
– He is a former non-executive director of a company that provided professional services at CPUT and only resigned after he was found out.
– He failed to act on the findings and recommendations of the Moerane Commission ,as well as on the audit reports ,which exposed corrupt activities at the university. Under his leadership, the reputation of the institution was compromised as a result of the much publicised questionable security tender worth R200 million which is currently being challenged by some unsuccessful bidders at the High Court.
– During the election process of the new Exco to Council, the playing fields have not been levelled. Mr Bikwana was given an unfair aantage over other candidates, when he was allowed to make a presentation to Council, at the same time, he was a candidate. He used this opportunity to sell and profile himself with his fabricated portrayal of his shoddy leaderships as ethical.
– He subsequently presided over the appointments of chairpersons of sub-committees of Council and placed certain people strategically to work to further his interests.
Our progressive formations refuse to sit on the sidelines, while self conscious frauds are taking the university on a dangerous path. We will not tolerate unethical interference, poor leadership and unprincipled behaviour. Our organizations demand the following from all Council members.
We are calling upon the members of Council and broader society to stand firm and reject the kind of leadership that Mr Mbulelo Bikwana represents and demonstrated in his first term which was riddled with scandal and unethical behaviour.
We appeal to Council members to elect Exco members, who have demonstrated their capacity to lead transformation in key sectors of our society. Our call is informed by the needs of the institution, which include the return to high moral and ethical standards in the governance and management structures, which unfortunately have been eroded during Bikwana’s term of office. The institution also needs to rebuild the working relationship between students, workers, management and leadership which is currently broken.
Our organisations are of the view that, we need generational mix of experience and youth in order to bridge the gap between the constituencies of the institution. We need candidates that will aance unapologetically the interests of workers and students and safeguard the integrity of the university in society. For the above reasons, the progressive trade union and student movement, NEHAWU and SASCO are supporting the following candidates who have been duly nominated:
– Chairperson of Council: Judge Thokozile Masipa
She has an unblemished track record and is currently a judge in the High Court who has presided over high profile cases. Her background puts her in good stead to confront the challenges faced by CPUT with a sense integrity, justice, fairness and objectivity.
– Deputy Chairperson: Mr Thato Molaolwa
He is one of the former student leaders at CPUT who has distinguished himself as a servant of students and the broader university community. He has an understanding of the issues at the institution and we are confident that he can help to forge closer working relationships between students, workers and management of the institution.
Finally, we have also been made aware by reliable and well-placed sources that the outgoing chairperson of Council, Bikwana, has sought to influence the representatives of students on Council to withdraw the nomination of the only other nominee for the position of chairperson in exchange for delivering to him the presidency of the SRC. We are going to lodge a formal complaint with council on this matter.
Source : Congress of South African Trade Unions