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CCS (2008) CCS Communiques.  : -.

18 August - The Centre for Civil Society this week prepares for meetings about our future with a new Subcommittee of the Faculty. Last week's 33-1 vote by colleagues to keep the Centre at UKZN is a strong enough signal to reverse an earlier decision by authorities to shut CCS. But our future is to be negotiated in coming days, with a September 12 deadline. We are requesting further testimonials before 1 September, to

Statement by Professor Patrick Bond, Centre for Civil Society director
(Monday evening, August 11)

August 11 - The closure of CCS, as dictated in a July 30 statement
by Deputy Vice Chancellor Fikile Mazibuko and read to our staff and our
School of Development Studies colleagues that day by Dean Donal
McCracken, has been effectively negated, and is now overridden by a
genuinely collegial process amongst intellectuals, it was agreed this

The academic process we now embark upon means that no binding official
university decision has been taken, and that fellow scholars will make
recommendations about the Centre's future in coming days and weeks, in a
far more democratic manner where merit not political ideology prevails.

Prof Mazibuko and Dean McCracken may still believe that CCS should be
closed on December 31 this year - for they refused to deny or confirm
the status of the July 30 death sentence when we met this afternoon -
but Vice Chancellor Malegapuru Makgoba has ensured, in an earlier
meeting with me today, that a series of other scholars will make their
inputs prior to any decision: the School of Development Studies Board;
the Howard College Faculty Board of Humanities, Development and Social
Sciences; the Academic Affairs Board; the University Research Committee;
and finally the Senate. (If CCS is to be closed, Council would also
become involved.)

These are committees whose senior academics will, we trust, bring
perspective and wisdom to the matter. They will carefully consider the
alignment of Centre work to the university's broader mission and goals.
They will properly assess our accomplishments and faults rather than
dismiss the Centre's future based on a financial red herring.

The SDS Board has already expressed their solidarity with the Centre's
appeal against the July 30 ruling. The Faculty Board meets on August 13,
and will be asked to form a subcommittee to rapidly assess the official
report of the University Review Committee of the CCS, chaired by Dr
Peter Krumm, who filed it on February 29 this year. (The report is

Several months have been lost (recall that this process began in March
2007), and we are back at square one. Still, this is more than a stay of
execution, it is a negation of the death sentence and a chance to have
genuine scholars carefully consider the Centre's relevance to academic
enterprise and community service.

Below, find Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Relations) Dasarath Chetty's
communique this evening to the university community. On August 6, Prof
Chetty was quoted in The Mercury newspaper as saying Prof Mazibuko knew
nothing of the threat to close CCS, which was not correct; and on August
8 Chetty sent a confusing note to the university community and press
that implicated Dr Krumm, his committee (all named), and Professor
Vishnu Padayachee (head of the School of Development Studies) in the
"recommendation" that CCS should be closed. In discussing these problems
with Prof Chetty today, I am convinced he was misled by colleagues, and
that he recognises that Prof Mazibuko did indeed call for CCS's closure
on July 30; and also that Dr Krumm's Review Committee and Prof
Padayachee are on record, decisively, against CCS's closure. CCS is
committed to working together with Prof Chetty, to ensure that
university statements reflect the facts on this matter.

So we now continue our campaign to resist closure, and to preserve what
scholars, civil society constituencies, and the general public - in
Durban and across South Africa, Africa and the world - consider useful
about CCS. Our campaign will be thoughtful, and make the case in a
reasoned way. We encourage further brief testimonials about CCS, and how
what we do can be improved. We are far from a perfect site of knowledge
production, we make many mistakes, and it is only through constructive
critique that we can best serve civil society.

A huge thanks goes to the many people and institutions offering their
solidarity and sympathy. Without exception, you have encouraged us to
continue the campaign to keep CCS alive and well. (Just by way of
illustration, more than 600 low-income people spent all afternoon
yesterday in Chatsworth celebrating the local community's decade of
organising and Prof Fatima Meer's eight decades of vibrant life, and all
of us from CCS were privileged to cohost, and heartened by the
commitment of all present to continue forging a unifying vision of
social justice.)

Please see our website - for more, including upcoming events such as the August 28 Wolpe Lecture on water access as taught by Sowetans who defeated Johannesburg Water and the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry in the High Court a few weeks ago.

Some of the testimonials about CCS that have arrived so far are
uploaded,here and a further website (including a petition) was set up by trade unionists who support CCS:

For more analytical material (including three new journal articles), see,40 and also the five-year review for our funders conducted by David Sogge:,28,10,2776

(Note - although in issuing this statement to the many concerned friends of CCS, I have consulted only our Research Director, Prof Sufian Bukurura, this afternoon - two staff meetings with colleagues in CCS and SDS this morning convince me of their unanimity in opposing CCS's closure, and their support for our appeal to reason. Further meetings tomorrow will add to the next stage of our strategy, and we will issue another statement by Wednesday about how we hope academic colleagues view our situation.)

Notice to the University Community

Centre for Civil Society

Following a meeting between Professor N Mazibuko, the Deputy
Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Humanities, Professor D
McCracken, Dean of Humanities and Professor Patrick Bond, Director of
the Centre for Civil Society, it was agreed that the Faculty Board be
requested to consider the Krumm report on the future of the CCS at its
meeting on Wednesday, 13 August 2008. As a way forward the Board is to
be requested to consider appointing a sub-committee which should, in a
reasonable time, come up with recommendations relating to the future of
the Centre.

Recommendations would then be forwarded to the Academic Affairs Board on
12 September, to the University Research Committee on 16 September and
to Senate on 12 November 2008.

Professor Dasarath Chetty


Corporate Relations

11 August 2008


  • In March 2007, the School of Development Studies (SDS) Board of
    Studies requested a University review of the Centre for Civil Society
    (CCS) to establish a firm footing for subsequent developments (including
    the anticipated end of Professor Patrick Bond’s directorship in October
    2007), a review which only began in September 2007, led by Dr Peter
    Krumm (Department of Physics).

  • On 29 February 2008, after hundreds of hours of deliberations, the
    Krumm Committee issued its Report, which included the conclusion that
    “Closing down or removing CCS from UKZN does not appear to be an option
    as it was rejected by all interviewees and panel members. Through its
    international recognition and standing, CCS has put UKZN on a world map
    in social science, a position the University dare not risk to lose.” The
    report is here:

  • Until mid-July 2008, no written communications were offered by Dean
    Donal McCracken, in spite of repeated (unanswered) queries, about the
    status of the Krumm Committee Report, and no effort was made to address
    the Report’s analysis or recommendations in the Faculty Board or Faculty
    ExCo, and no further communications were made to CCS or SDS requesting

  • On July 16, Dean McCracken informed Professors Vishnu Padayachee (Head of the School of Development Studies) and Professor Bond that due to financial reasons the Centre would be closed, but upon notification of new funder commitments and a reserve, acknowledged that "negotiations are still open".

  • On July 17, Professor Bond sent Dean McCracken the audited 2007
    Financial Statement which showed a healthy surplus of twice the Centre’s
    annual income or expenditures, as well as an indication of funder
    commitments to core administrative expenses for 2009-2010.

  • On July 23, Dean McCracken sent Professor Padayachee a letter
    instructing him not to permit further surplus expenditure or fundraising
    by the Centre for Civil Society, while refusing to reply to ongoing
    emails from Professor Bond requesting information about the process.

  • On July 30, Dean McCracken did not answer requests by Professor Bond
    for a briefing prior to his own announcement to an SDS and CCS staff
    meeting, that Deputy Vice Chancellor Fikile Mazibuko had decided that
    CCS would be closed as of December 31 2008; that existing staff
    contracts would be terminated at year end (with staff invited to apply
    for other UKZN jobs); that Professor Bond would resume his tenured SDS
    chair; and that the “good” projects (unspecified) of CCS would be
    brought into a “refocused” civil society programme in SDS.

  • On July 30, the staff of CCS sent a written Appeal to Dean McCracken
    and then on July 31 and again on August 4, to Deputy Vice Chancellor
    Mazibuko, an Appeal which was never acknowledged or answered;

  • On August 4, the staff of SDS met and endorsed the CCS Appeal and made
    their own written request to Professor Mazibuko for a rationale for the
    closure of CCS, a request that was acknowledged but not answered.

  • On August 6, the Mercury newspaper carried a statement - never
    corrected - that Deputy Vice Chancellor Mazibuko "knew nothing about the
    alleged decision to shut down the centre". Professor Bond continued to
    make written requests for written copies of the July 30 letter, a letter
    which has been kept secret, as well as for the CCS Appeal to be
    answered, without success.

  • On August 8, an official University statement claimed that it was on
    the basis of the Krumm Committee Report and deliberations with Professor
    Padayachee that the decision to close CCS was taken – and
    notwithstanding repeated requests for a public correction of that
    incorrect information, Pro Vice Chancellor Dasareth Chetty’s office
    never complied.

  • On August 11, Vice Chancellor Malegapuru Makgoba confirmed to
    Professors Padayachee and Bond that the CCS decision-making process to
    date was inappropriate, and the “academic voice” was yet to be heard,
    and that henceforth the correct process would be immediate consideration
    of the Krumm Report in Faculty Board and in other committees of academics.

  • On August 13, the Faculty Board for Humanities, Social Science and
    Development voted 33 to 1 (with a half-dozen abstentions) to support
    "the continuation of the Centre for Civil Society", and the Board
    established a subcommittee to come up with solutions, to report in no more than a month's time.

  • Note on the status of CCS within the University of KwaZulu-Natal

    On 30 July, the staff of CCS and our host institution, the School of
    Development Studies (SDS), were summoned by Dean Donal McCracken, and
    told that as of 31 December 2008, CCS would be permanently closed, that
    Professor Patrick Bond (CCS director since October 2004) would resume
    his tenured chair within SDS, and that the other CCS staff - all on
    contract - would be terminated, with CCS's "good" projects moved to SDS.

    CCS staff are unanimous that this decision should be reconsidered, and
    the following letter of appeal
    was sent within hours to Dean McCracken. As of 1 August, no reply was received, and with word now out about the proposed closure, we deem this necessary to publicise on the CCS website. Our objective is to retain the Centre as it now operates, and indeed to strengthen and make CCS more autonomous (as recommended in the official UKZN Review of our activities on 29 February 2008). We appreciate the solidarity of colleagues, communities, donors and supporters, and your comments - supportive and critical alike - will be published on this website.
    please send to

    Centre for Civil Society report on 2007 activities
    CCS UKZN Review 29 February 2008

    30 July 2008

    Vishnu Padayachee, head of the School of Development Studies

    Dear Vishnu,

    I was disappointed to be left out of the loop on discussions about the
    future of the Centre for Civil Society, especially over the last crucial
    two-week period. Not having had a chance to talk to any of the
    principals between 29 February and July 16, in spite of repeated
    requests, has made the authorities' decision to propose closing CCS very
    difficult to comprehend. A few minutes' time with Prof McCracken on July
    16, and repeated (ignored) requests for follow-up discussions only leave
    me more confused about whether this decision has been made on financial
    grounds, as suggested, or some other basis.

    As you advised, Centre staff met and decided that without a compelling
    reason given by Prof McCracken to buttress Prof Mazibuko's
    recommendation that CCS be closed at the end of 2008, we would want very
    much to immediately appeal this recommendation.

    The only reason given at today's staff meeting was that the long-term
    financial viability of CCS was not secure, i.e. that we do not have
    permanent funding in perpetuity. But that argument applies to many other
    projects, centres and other UKZN entities, and we have communicated to
    Prof McCracken that there is no problem in guaranteeing core jobs and
    many of our projects into 2009-10.

    The formal University Review of CCS carried out between September
    2007-February 2008 suggested that CCS be strengthened. The Review made
    this specific comment on closure:

    "Possible Options
    (1) Closing down or removing CCS from UKZN does not appear to be an
    option as it was rejected by all interviewees and panel members. Through
    its international recognition and standing, CCS has put UKZN on a world
    map in social science, a position the University dare not risk to lose."

    We believe that CCS contributes to the stated goals of the university
    (see below) as much as any other research unit, and likewise that our
    portfolio of funded research projects, our per capita publications
    output, the frequency of our academic seminar schedule (usually
    two/week), the numerous (free) events open to the community (most with
    translation), our role in local and national public intellectual
    debates, and the recognition/partnerships we have with other
    internationally recognised academic and research institutions would rank
    us at the top of UKZN.

    We also believe that with our healthy reserve and the incoming funding
    commitments for core staff for 2009-10, there is no financial basis for
    closing CCS; indeed, we have been a generous net financier of the
    university since 2001, and have formally purchased our office space.

    The race/gender implications of the decision to close CCS would be to
    retain one white male and fire more than a dozen black and female
    contract workers (and one other white male).

    If we might use your good office to get an urgent meeting with both
    Professors Mazibuko and Jacobs, we would be grateful. I will cancel my
    Nairobi trip to the Africa Jubilee South launch next week, as well. In
    the meantime, we will alert our colleagues and funders of this appeal,
    as the proposed closure of CCS has now been publicly announced and we
    must not be in a position to lose the confidence of our communities and



    To be the premier university of African scholarship.


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    preamble to the Higher Education Act of 1997 (as amended).


    The goals of the University are to:
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    social transformation and redress.

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    and foster the realization of their full human potential.

  • The University views this vision and mission statement as a
    reflection of its core values and commitments. In carrying out its
    various activities, the University seeks to contribute to the building
    of a just South African society.

  • 05 August 2008

    The Deputy Vice-Chancellor
    College of Humanities
    University of KwaZulu-Natal
    Howard College Campus

    Dear Prof Mazibuko


    At a meeting on 30 July 2008, we were informed by the Dean, Professor
    McCracken, that the University has decided to close the CCS. Professor
    McCracken informed us that this decision has been taken on financial
    grounds i.e. because the CCS did not have a secure and permanent stream
    of funding.

    We considered this matter at our School Board of 4 August where we
    supported the CCS's resolution to appeal the University's decision. This
    was a consensus view of our School Board and I was asked to write to you.

    Specifically we would like to raise two issues. First, this decision
    seems to be at odds with the findings of the Review Committee, which was
    asked to consider the future of the CCS. Our reading of the report of
    the Committee is that closure is not recommended. Second, our
    understanding is that the CCS is now able to secure its financial future
    for at least another two years. As far as we know, research centres of
    this sort are not expected to secure their financial futures in
    perpetuity. We can therefore only conclude that the University has
    other, more academically sound, reasons for the decision.

    We would like therefore to invite you to address us on the reasons
    informing the decision to close the CCS.

    Yours sincerely

    Imraan Valodia
    For the Board of Studies, School of Development Studies

    The following members of the SDS Board were present at the meeting:
    Richard Ballard
    Patrick Bond
    Sufian Bukurura
    Daniela Casale
    Richard Devey
    Ntsiki Manzini
    Nompu Nzimande
    Vishnu Padayachee
    Dori Posel
    Eleanor Preston-Whyte
    Glen Robbins
    Caroline Skinner
    Mary Smith

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