We still want Jansen removed - COSATU/NEHAWU FS

Unions say it is not possible to consult on matters that have already been decided

Joint statement by Cosatu Free State and Nehawu Free State on the Format of Consultation at the University of the Free State, November 3 2009

COSATU Free State and its affiliate NEHAWU at provincial level received a report today about the meeting between our University of the Free State (UFS) union structure and management of UFS around the so-called consultation process that is widely reported.

We wish to clarify that it remains our understanding that you cannot consult on matters that you have already decided on. We believe that prior to any decision being taken in any organisation there has to be proper consultation with all affected stakeholders in that institution. For the record, and as we have said before, this did not happen at this University except now that meetings have been convened under the pretext that it is consultation.

Firstly, we wish to indicate that if a true and honest consultation is to take place in this institution, the university must first retract the statement made earlier on dropping the charges against the four students. Secondly we believe that there has to be an independent facilitation processes that will engage all the stake holders and not Professor Jonathan Jansen and his council, because they have clearly indicated to all that they are not competent to deal with the matter because they took sides on this very sensitive matter.

Up to today the Professor has repeatedly said that their decision is standing and all that they are doing is to explain why they have taken such a decision. To us this cannot be referred to as consultation, rather it's a briefing. As the federation, together with our affiliate NEHAWU in the province, we are convinced that if we allow this cover-up strategy used by Professor Jansen and his council that they are consulting whilst we all know that they are not, we will basically be fooling ourselves and actually assisting them to achieve their goal.

In 2008 we raised the need for transformation at the university and have said we are fully prepared to be part of that transformation process with a leadership of the university that is fully prepared and not the one that takes sides. It is against this background that we are insisting that Professor Jansen is not the right person for this process; hence we say he must be removed and allow someone to lead the process. We are going to continue with our programme of exposing racism at this institution, including all those who are associated with it and proving to everybody that short cuts will never assist in taking the institution forward.

We will not rest until Professor Jansen is removed.

Statement issued by Sam Mashinini, COSATU Free State provincial secretary and MM Tsiu, NEHAWU FS provincial chairperson, November 3 2009

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