Stellenbosch University Convocation president resigns over nepotism scandal

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The President of the Stellenbosch University (SU) Convocation, Jan Heunis, has resigned with immediate effect after last week’s meeting in which he was voted out.

It follows weeks of tensions over a nepotism scandal involving the SU’s Vice-Chancellor, Wim de Villiers, in which two of his relatives reportedly received admissions to study at the institution.

Allegations later emerged that one of the students, who was admitted to study medicine, was reportedly chosen over someone with better academic results.

Heunis, who called for de Villiers to resign, has expressed disappointment over the outcome of the meeting.

“I am disappointed at the event, but I resigned shortly afterward, although the process was not yet complete. I do not want to be accused of sour grapes, so I resigned not only as President of the Convocation but also as a member of the council. I want to reassure you at the outset that this has nothing to do with resistance against transformation, that is how it is being presented for motives that are less than honourable.”

Heunis’ Deputy, Dr Rudy *Buys, says investigations must be concluded on the nepotism scandal and allegations before opinions are prematurely voiced.

“The only way we can draw conclusions on the contested facts is to wait for the proper procedure of the investigating committee to come up with a clear finding which they would present to council. My whole point is that to draw conclusions and have findings and act on them without being involved in such an investigation is really premature. So, to form opinions at this point and make claims on what the recourse would be is not the way to go about it.”

VIDEO | Analysis on Heunis’s resignation: