JONATHAN JANSEN: Ace was helpful, responsive and a champion for students
For seven years I was required to work with the man everyone in the Free State would call by the shorthand name “Premier”, minus the definite article. Premier says this, Premier says that. I had no choice but to work with the man who later became the secretary-general of the ANC, Ace Magashule.
As vice-chancellor of a university with a medical school, the relationship between the premier and the rector is absolutely critical. Medical school staff are hired on what are called “joint appointments”, which means the doctors are appointed for their academic duties by the university but appointed also by the provincial government for their professional obligations in the public hospitals.
This arrangement is extremely demanding for the leadership of a university hosting a medical school; in a province like the Free State it was an absolute nightmare.