[DEBATE] : Fwd: Re: Media queries relating to industrial action
Pithouser at ukzn.ac.za
Mon Feb 6 15:37:48 GMT 2006
>>> "Jimi O. Adesina" <J.Adesina at ru.ac.za> 02/06/06 5:01 PM >>>
Since your e-mail refers to my "Open Letter" to you on this matter, the
appropriate thing for you to do, to correct any "misconception" of your
e-mail, is to WITHDRAW IT UNAMBIGUOUSLY and apologise to your colleagues.
The perception of being gagged is not a limited perception among our
colleagues, and anyone with eyes can read what you wrote. A university (and
scholars) committed to the integrity of its raison d'etre do not tell its
staff not to speak to the media. Period.
Finally, the theme of our 2005 SASA Congress was the "Renewal of Sociology
in South Africa." A critical point of departure in that renewal is to
recapture the heritage of a South African sociology committed to justice,
equity, and dignity of all. The renewal requires us as a community to hold
ourselves (individually and collectively) accountable and not stand aloof
when injustice racks our community and society. The experience of many
sub-Saharan African countries, including my native Nigeria, is that
authoritarianism does not grow in one day, and is not a prerogative of the
State. In failing to raise our voices and pens against its initial stirrings
(in 1964 at the University of Ife, Ile-Ife, Nigeria) we ended up endangering
the whole community of scholars and the country. Today many are in
involuntary exile because we failed to take action at the appropriate point
in time. The challenge for each generation is different, but the principle
is the same. We as sociologists should know that more than anyone; it
becomes more compelling when these things happen within our universities!
The Mercury newspaper cited you this morning as referring to the demands of
your colleagues as "unreasonable." It would be unfortunate if that is your
exact quote--and I hope they are just paraphrasing you. It would be
unfortunate if they you were not being paraphrased, because among these
'unreasonable' people are esteemed members of our sociological community and
some of the finest members of the global community of scholars.
'Jimi O. Adesina, PhD
Professor of Sociology,
Department of Sociology,
Rhodes University, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa.
Tel: +27 (0) 46 603 8172 (W)
Fax: +27 (0) 46 622 5570 (W)
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 353 1041
E-mail: J.Adesina at ru.ac.za
From: afsanet at yahoogroups.com [mailto:afsanet at yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
Sent: 06 February 2006 04:25 PM
To: afsanet at yahoogroups.com
Subject: [afsanet] Media queries relating to industrial action
To the University Community
Media queries relating to industrial action
I refer to the e-mail transmitted on 3 February 2006 under my name regarding
"media queries relating to the impending industrial action".
Although I did not draft the e-mail, I accept responsibility for its
The intention was to inform staff as to the identity of the official
spokespersons, who are authorised to formulate comments in conjunction with
myself, on the industrial action on behalf of the University. It was never
intended to compel those representing views other than the official
University position to channel media releases through my Department.
It is obvious that the e-mail must be understood in this context.
Any other interpretation is absurd. In the unlikely event that any person
had reservations regarding the true meaning of the e-mail, this could have
been resolved readily by contacting my office.
Unfortunately, some have resorted to opportunistically exploiting the e-mail
by referring to it as a `gagging order on University staff'. The immoderate
language used in support of this untenable conclusion has substantially
prejudiced the good name of the University, not to mention my professional
and personal integrity.
These aspects are being dealt with separately. This note simply serves to
confirm the obvious. There is no question of `gagging'
University staff by preventing members of staff from expressing their
personal views. The University executive confirms that it
supports the right to freedom of speech.
Professor Dasarath Chetty
Public Affairs and Corporate Communications
6 February 2006
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