UKZN clams up on its reasons for firing Zikhali

2013-09-04 00:00

THE University of University of KwaZulu-Natal will not comment any further as to the reasons why it fired an employee accused of sexual harassment.

Senior lecturer Jabulani Zikhali was dismissed after The Witness revealed he had been rehired in April 2013, after having resigned six months earlier while facing a disciplinary process for alleged sexual harassment.

It was discovered that at least five women had reported allegations of sexual harassment against Zikhali in August 2012. The university had begun to conduct an investigation when Zikhali — who at the time was the head of the Enriched Management Studies Programme within the managerial studies unit — suddenly resigned. He told The Witness the reason for his resignation was personal and that at no point was he aware of the allegations against him, a statement the university refutes.

In April, he was rehired within the Maurice Webb Race Relations Unit at Howard College.

In August 2013, the university said he was fired for non-disclosure of information when he was rehired on what they termed a “five days’ interval appointment”, a term the university has yet to clarify.

Zikhali was dismissed on August 16 after a query into his reappointment on August 14. Zikhali said the first he learnt about the charge was when he was dismissed.

Spokesperson Indu Moodley would neither confirm or deny whether the university would further investigate the sexual harassment claims made against Zikhali, nor provide further clarification on what Zikhali had not disclosed when reappointed, which was the basis of his dismissal.

However, Zikhali denies having been required to complete any forms when he was rehired in April and stated that the university “already had all his details on record”.

Zikhali said he has requested reasons from the university for his dismissal, but has yet to receive any further correspondence from them.

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