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Stellenbosch University’s rector cleared of interference in language policy case

Professor Wim de Villiers was accused of trying to influence the case by attempting to convince former Justice Edwin Cameron to accept a nomination to become the university’s new chancellor.

A YouTube screengrab of Stellenbosch University’s Rector and Vice-Chancellor Professor Wim de Villiers.

CAPE TOWN - Stellenbosch University’s rector and vice-chancellor Professor Wim de Villiers has been cleared of alleged attempts to interfere in a Constitutional Court case related to the institution’s language policy.

In October, the ConCourt ruled in favour of the university which opposed an application by Afrikaans-language lobby group Gelyke Kanse to compel the institution to return to its 2014 language policy. Its 2016 language policy gave equal status to both English and Afrikaans as languages of instruction.

De Villiers was accused of trying to influence the case by attempting to convince former Justice Edwin Cameron to accept a nomination to become the university’s new chancellor.

In his independent report, retired Judge Burton Fourie found there was no evidence of wrongdoing by De Villiers.

De Villiers stressed that he acted in good faith.

“It was indeed my responsibility as head of the university to help find the best possible candidate for this position. I welcome this finding as I welcomed the investigation,” he said.

Cameron would take up his new job next month.

_WATCH: Prof Wim de Villiers responds to findings of independent probe _

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