Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science and Technology has ordered Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) to immediately review its disciplinary policy to ensure it provided fairness. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)
Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science and Technology has ordered Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) to immediately review its disciplinary policy to ensure it provided fairness. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)

CPUT ordered to please explain its student discipline process

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Apr 7, 2021

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Cape Town - Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science and Technology has ordered Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) to immediately review its disciplinary policy to ensure it provided fairness.

Committee chairperson Philly Mapulane said the committee was concerned about the outcry by the Student Representative Council (SRC) that the policy and processes that the university employed to discipline them, particularly the student leaders, seemed to be unfair and targeted the leaders in order to discourage them from being critical of the university’s leadership.

Mapulane said the students complained that too much power seemed to be vested in the vice-chancellor and the dean of students to suspend them.

After a long engagement with the SRC, the committee summoned the university council last week, to immediately review its policy.

“It’s important that the policy is reviewed so that it is not only fair and justifiable, but it is seen to be fair by those at the receiving end of the policy,” said Mapulane.

Mapulane said the committee also requested CPUT to provide a detailed report on the expulsion of the two chairpersons of the trade unions, and further requested them to provide an expenditure report for all labour legal issues and the disciplinary cases process for the past two financial years.

SRC's deputy president Sihle Ngxabi said the order by the committee was logical and sound.

“We support the order to review disciplinary policy because it’s not fair and it's targeting individuals especially student leaders," said Ngxabi.

CPUT spokesperson Lauren Kansley said the institution has been transparent about its disciplinary hearing process and that followed a stringent process before any outcome was reached.

Kansley said the process which was followed by the Institution was a council approved process that went through different stages before it served before council for final approval.

"CPUT emphatically and unequivocally denies that any person or group of people are being targeted. In accordance with the principles of good corporate governance, CPUT enforces its rules without favour or prejudice against any person or group of people, albeit students or staff members who fail to adhere to the institutional rules or applicable legislation," said Kansley.

Cape Argus

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