29 March 2021 | Story Lacea Loader


The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) confirmed the following at its meeting on 19 March 2021:

1. Its support of and confidence in the leadership of the Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, Prof Francis Petersen and his team, and duly recognises the efforts and results achieved at the University during the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the current nationwide student protest on the payment of student debt.

2. In this context, the Council also distances itself and deplores the statements made by the leadership of the Institutional Student Representative Council (ISRC), on national television on Monday 15 March 2021,   as it pertained to the demand for the immediate resignation of the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, and the statements pertaining to the Chancellor, Prof Bonang Mohale, and Chairperson of the Council, Dr Willem Louw. The Council notes that Mr Katleho Lechoo, President of the ISRC subsequently retracted the utterances.

3. The Council strongly affirms its confidence in the relationship between the leadership of the UFS and the ISRC and expresses its appreciation for the University leadership’s commitment to continuously engage with students about matters of concern to them. The Council furthermore encourages positive and constructive engagement by the ISRC with the University leadership, as this contributes to shared-understanding of the challenges faced by the South African higher education sector and the governance of the UFS.

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