SOUTH AFRICA: Academics question senate probe

A one-man commission appointed to investigate issues around the submission of a document on academic freedom to the senate at the University of KwaZulu-Natal has been questioned by some of the university’s academics, writes Primarashni Gower in the Mail and Guardian. The appointment of former vice-chancellor and former education minister Professor Sibusiso Bengu, the university’s council representative on the senate, to investigate the processes around the submission is seen by a few academics as tantamount to “a senator adjudicating on a matter that has become contentious within the senate itself”.

Vice-chancellor Professor Malegapuru Makgoba said he cannot comment because he is bound by the senate’s confidentiality at least until the process is concluded in about a month’s time. This was confirmed by Professor Dasarath Chetty, UKZN’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Relations) who said: “The Bengu committee must be allowed to investigate the matter in question and on completion of the report, the university will respond fully.”

UKZN’s senate has been wrestling with the matter since late last year after a meeting of the senate proposed that faculties be invited to make submissions on academic freedom.
Full report on the Mail and Guardian site