Bloemfontein – Central University of Technology (CUT) is concerned by the Minister of Higher Education, Honourable Blade Nzimande’s decision to appeal the case he lost in his attempt to place CUT under administration.

CUT approached the Minister, as it did in February 2012, with a view to resolving any concerns and outstanding matters through a less invasive paralegal process. Nzimande however refused and opted to exercise his right of election by filing an application for leave to appeal; thereby opting for a route that will waste more taxpayers’ money.

Anonymous letters submitted to the Minister by allegedly disgruntled employees in 2011, led the Minister to appoint an independent assessor, Prof Julian Smith, to investigate allegations of impropriety at CUT. The assessor purported to find intimidation, victimization and mismanagement of staff members as well as misappropriation of funds. These matters were however not substantiated even before the high court. Albeit the reports being unfounded, the Minister appointed an administrator. The high court ruled in favour of CUT’s application to set aside the Minister’s decision mainly due to the lack of supporting evidence presented by the assessor and the Minister in his court papers.

“Spending more time in court is an unnecessary pursuit for CUT that is working hard to maintain its emerging status as a ‘cut above the rest’. Any further expenditure of taxpayers’ money in litigating this matter is unnecessary,” says Professor Thandwa Mthembu, Vice Chancellor of CUT. “We have taken and are continuing to take all the necessary steps fathomable to investigate and manage the issues and we have appealed to the Minister to allow CUT’s Council to pursue the matter out of court. We continue to be optimistic and look forward to his favourable response,” Mthembu concluded.

More about CUT

CUT is a leader in many technology fields ranging from learning programmes in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) a broad field in which CUT has about 45% of its enrolments, much higher than many other South African universities. Further, CUT’s research and innovation leadership in many areas, more especially in rapid prototyping and manufacturing is world class. The latter has been honoured by both the Medical Research Council (MRC) as part of its National Medical Device Platform and the National Research Foundation (NRF), with the latter having granted CUT a Chair in this area. Through its social and technological innovations CUT aims to contribute towards the social-economic development in the region as well as in the rest of South Africa and internationally.

For more information about CUT visit www.cut.ac.za