TUT’s rejection of Muthambi’s application and her response

It recently emerged that Minister of Communications Faith Muthambi's application for an MTech in Journalism was rejected by the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT)

TUT have confirmed that they are in contact with Muthambi’s office after the institution rejected  her application to study an MTech in Journalism, and the subsequent backlash they received from her.

“We are currently engaging with the minister’s office and I think at this stage, we would prefer not to comment on anything further. Let us continue the conversation with her and resolve the issues that are there then after that we will issue a statement,” Willa de Ruyter, spokesperson for the institution told DESTINY Man.

This comes after a seemingly furious Muthambi wrote a letter to the tertiary institution demanding that it  apologise to her publicly for what she alleges was a “violation of her rights” and an “impugning of her integrity” for the way her application was handled.

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“I am writing to you as an aggrieved person. I am of the opinion that TUT has violated my rights in the manner in which it has handled my application. I had hoped that my application will be treated as that of any other student,” Muthambi wrote. “And there is nothing in my conduct that suggested otherwise. Instead a simple application to study seems to have triggered a litany of irregularities and violations of my rights.”

She went on to say that under normal circumstances, one’s desire to want to study would be celebrated but that for her it has has “turned out to be a source of condemnation, desertion and impugning of [her] integrity”.

In a statement earlier this week, the institution had said that while they were honoured that the minister wanted to study at TUT, she simply did not meet the criteria for the course with which she wished to pursue.

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“With no official qualification or previous training in journalism, the applicant did not meet the admission requirements and the minister has been informed officially of the outcome,” the institution said in an interview with City Press. “We will continue to engage with her towards finding a suitable qualification for her to enrol for study at TUT in future.”

In her letter, Muthambi outlined why she felt she qualified to study for an MTech in journalism, here are some of the reasons she gave:

  • “I hold a 4-year degree in law and several postgraduate certificates”
  • “I have been a member of Parliament since 2009”
  • “I had the privilege of serving as the Whip of the portfolio committee on communication from 2011 to 2014”
  • “I was subsequently appointed minister of communications. . .”
  • “. . . in this capacity, I work closely with journalists and communicators”

She went on to write what the various “violations, irregularities and infractions” she experienced from the university were. As part of this list, the minister wrote that the university had violated her rights by “disclosing its interactions with me to the public”.

“We have responded to the minister’s letter. She requested us to reply to her by end of business on 15 March which we have done. The registrar’s office is currently engaging with the minister,” de Ruyter told us.