The South African Student Congress in the Mpumalanga province say they are concerned about government’s unwillingness to probe varsity principal Thoko Mayekiso.
They say the allegations levelled against her tarnish the image of a university that is new and which has the task of building for itself a good image.
Provincial secretary Jacob Tau said the situation at the university “is filled with serious set-backs”.
“Firstly the university students have raised serious allegations of maladministration and corruption,” Tau said in a statement.
“And these are serious concerns that must not be taken for granted by anyone given the fact that the university is new and must work on building a good image and reputation for its self,” he said.
He said the students have demanded that Mayekiso be investigated “but the management and council led by Dr David Mabunda have dismally failed to address this crisis [and] constantly protected [her]”.
Mayekiso is accused of having two questionable payments made to two companies under her watch and directives.
First was a R4.2 million payment made by the university to a catering company called Mathata General Trading in April last year and another, a R1.7 million, made to Magma Inc Attorneys.
Magma Inc Attorneys was the law firm she had appointed to investigate the questionable payment made to Mathatha General Trading…
“Failure of the council to decisively deal with the concerns proves that the council is conflicted and incompetent and therefore the council can no longer be trusted with their responsibilities,” Tau said.
Having been rocked by a number of protests since March 2018, this week student leaders and management sat and talked, agreeing that classes should resume at the university.
Students had been accusing management of corruption and also protesting over the issue of accomodation.
Tau said they noted a letter sent to higher education minister Naledi Pandor about the issues at the Mpumalanga institution but she “has not acted in that regard”.
“We are aware that the office of the minister is fully aware of all these grievances but we see unwillingness to resolve the issues,” he said.
Students at the university have been accused by officials of bringing tutoring to a halt because they were being used by tenderpreneurs who didn’t get work from the institution.
But Tau rejected this and said if the department really believed this they will have to take all awarding of tenders to the national office and see whether the protests over the issues they are raising will stop.
“For transparency and accountability we are struggling to understand the difficulty in assigning an investigation on the matters raised,” Tau said.
013NEWS could not be able to draw comments from management on Wednesday afternoon.
(edited by MLM)
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