South Africa: Stellenbosch University Rocked By Disputes Over Language Policy


Stellenbosch University's academic year came to a stormy end with the resignation of three members of convocation who dispute the findings of an independent investigation that cleared the vice-chancellor and rector, Wim De Villiers - who enters his second term in office in April 2020 - of any wrongdoing in the handling of a new language policy that has been upheld by the courts.

Professor Wim de Villiers is set to enter his second term as rector in 2020, exonerated of claims of conflict of interest connected to the court case over the vexed language policy issue at Stellenbosch University (SU).

However, disputes around the policy have not abated amid the resignation of three convocation members last week to protest against the findings of an independent report that cleared De Villiers of any wrongdoing.

The Constitutional Court had ruled in favour of SU's language policy and against Gelyke Kanse, a voluntary organisation for Afrikaans rights. This led to accusations of bias after Justice Edwin Cameron, who was a judge on the case, shortly thereafter became the SU chancellor.

An investigation by retired Judge Burton Fourie, appointed by the Executive Committee of Council, found that there was no inappropriate interference by...

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