South AFrica: Stellenbosch selects Dean who doesn't speak Afrikaans

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Mon Nov 27 14:35:40 UTC 2006

Top Matie job for Ugandan?
26/11/2006 18:08  - (SA)

by Marlene Malan

Stellenbosch - University of Stellenbosch rector Professor Chris Brink's
recommendation of a Ugandan academic, who can't speak or understand
Afrikaans, as next dean of the law faculty has caused an upset on campus.
Brink and Dr Edwin Hertzog, chairman of the Matie council, both named
Professor John Mubangizi, the assistant dean of the law faculty at the
University of Durban-Westville, as their first-choice candidate. In doing
so, they ignored the objections of the law faculty. Academics and other
commentators told Rapport on Sunday that this was clearly Chris Brink's
"parting shot". "He wants to be sure he gets the last laugh," said a
member of the US council.

Language-policy proposals soon

Since Brink's surprise announcement in July that he was resigning to
become the rector of the University of Newcastle in England, it has been
quiet on the language front on the Matie campus. The management body has
suspended all official discussion of language until the policy has been
finalised. Proposals on the university's language policy will be tabled in
two weeks' time. The Maties' law faculty unanimously recommended the
acting dean Professor Gerhard Lubbe as "the only suitable appointee" from
a shortlist of three.

Lubbe, who has been on the staff since 1973, has been acting as dean for
some time in the place of Professor Marius de Waal, who is ill. Council
members did not want to comment, but Rapport heard that 12 out of the 25
staff had voted for Lubbe, seven for Mugangizi and five for an unnamed
candidate from Gauteng. The latest moves come just a fortnight before the
appointment of a new dean- either Professor Russel Botman or Dr Victory
Prozesky. The appointment of the new law-faculty dean must be finalised by
May next year.

Must function in Afrikaans environment

The ability to speak Afrikaans was not raised as a criterion in the
advertisement for the dean's post. The only stipulation was that the
successful candidate should "be able to function in an Afrikaans
environment?" Mubangizi did his first degree in Uganda, his masters at the
University of Cape Town and his doctorate at the Unversity of
Durban-Westville. The university's Susan van der Merwe said the senate
would decide on the appointment on November 29 and the council on December


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