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'Include us in transformation committee'

Fedusa believes it has a lot to offer in the transformation committee for universities.

Fedusa believes it has a lot to offer in the transformation committee for universities.

CAPE TOWN - The Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) on Thursday said it wants to be included in minister Blade Nzimande's transformation committee for universities.

Nzimande said the committee would advise him on policies to combat racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination.

It comes five years after a racist incident at the University of the Free State (UFS) sparked widespread uproar.

Four former UFS students, made a humiliating video involving four black university workers at the Reitz Men's hostel in 2008.

Schalk van der Merwe, Johnny Roberts, RC Malherbe and Danie Grobler duped cleaning staff to eat food which had been urinated on as part of a "Fear Factor" challenge, which was filmed as part of the residence's initiation process.

They were each fined R20,000 in 2010 after being found guilty of crimen injuria by the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court.

Nzimande's seven member committee consists of two vice chancellors, academics and representatives from both the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu).

Fedusa's Dennis George said the South African Parastatal and Tertiary Union (Saptu) should be on the committee.

"The minister should have consulted with us and asked us to make nominations but in this case it seems he handpicked a group of his own people and we are concerned that is going to damage the outcome of the report. It looks like its only people from Cosatu and we know there's an alliance between the trade union and the ANC."

Saptu represents academics and support staff at universities.

The minister said members of the committee are appointed for three years.