HAVOC: CPUT Bellville Campus
Cape Town - A report on a probe into a breakdown of relations between CPUT management and students, and allegations of maladministration at the institution, remains shrouded in mystery.

A senior academic and former CPUT staffer has accused it of lying about the finalisation of the report.

Dr Clive Kronenberg claims the report by a commission of inquiry headed by retired Judge James Yekiso was handed to CPUT, and that the university was stalling. But the institution has stuck to its guns, saying the report was yet to be finalised. This despite a letter from judge Yekiso stating the oposite.

The commission, chaired by Judge James Yekiso and advocate Willem Heath SC, was established to investigate accusations of maladministration and poor service delivery at CPUT which led to violent student protests between 2014 and 2017.

Kronenberg had sought the counsel of the commission after his complaints about maladministration had fallen on deaf ears. He said maladministration at the university severely handicapped the execution of his duty as a National Research Foundation accredited scholar.

He had lodged three formal complaints with CPUT’s grievance officer, which brought no relief, which is why he turned to the Yekiso commission for assistance. A letter from Judge Yekiso, addressed to Kronenberg, which the Cape Argus has seen, dated September 12, confirms that the commission had concluded its work.

“The Commission submitted its report and recommendations to the Council of the University on 15 August 2018,” the letter read.

“The life span of the Commission, so to speak, has since come to an end.”

Last week, the Cape Argus reported that a CPUT #FeesMustFall activist accused the university of stalling the release of the report in order to “cook the books”. But CPUT spokesperson Lauren Kansley has again rejected the accusation, standing by her earlier statements that the commission’s processes were still ongoing.

“The opinion of someone, who is neither in the employ of the university nor in any way affiliated to the commission, will not dictate the release of the report,” Kansley said yesterday.

“We reiterate our previous statement that the report is being finalised and on its completion will be considered by council,” she said.

Student representative council president Phathindwe Mncamase, who sits on the CPUT council, also denied having received the commission’s findings and said he was unsure about who was being truthful.

He said the report might be tabled at the next council meeting in November, but he wasn’t sure.

A former CPUT SRC member who preferred to remain anonymous said the commission’s findings were something students had been waiting a long time for, to piece together the root cause of the violence seen on campus in recent years. “We weren’t aware it was out. It’s not surprising (they claim to not have the report) as a commission of inquiry was convened a couple of years back and the university never took it seriously then. Years later, they started doing this one and they’re doing the same thing,” the former CPUT SRC member said.

“I would expect them to say they haven’t received it when they have and keep the commission’s findings to themselves. It’s something we’ve been waiting for.”

@IAmAthinaMay

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Cape Argus