UKZN’s Makgoba faces double probe

2012-06-01 00:00

A LAWYER acting for a group of “concerned citizens” has sent the University of KwaZulu-Natal a letter calling for an investigation into allegations against vice-chancellor Professor Malegapuru Makgoba.

Lawyer Siven Samuel told The Witness he was representing a group of people that included “former students, parents of students, some academics and members of the community”.

He said they have instructed him to bring a number of matters to the university’s attention requiring “investigation and response” including some senior academic appointments.

The letter was sent by fax yesterday to the university’s Audit and Risk Committee.

Nomonde Mbadi, UKZN’s Executive Director: Corporate Relations, said the issues raised in the letter would be dealt with through the university’s governance processes.

“Senior appointments at the university undergo rigorous assessment,” she said, “and we are, therefore, surprised that aspersions are being made against certain individuals in senior management.

“However, in line with good corporate governance the allegations will be thoroughly investigated.”

Earlier this month it was reported that Makgoba was the subject of a criminal investigation to determine whether he committed perjury during court proceedings in 2009. This followed an accusation of perjury made by Kanthan Pillay, UKZN’s former chief financial officer, who was fired in 2008.

The perjury accusation stems from a corruption case against the university’s former dean of management studies, Pumela Msweli-Mbanga. During the court case Makgoba is alleged to have lied about his role in supervising the thesis of a doctoral student. One of the items the university is requested to investigate in the letter from Samuel is a report by Kamal Panday sent to the varsity’s governance task team, but to which no response was made. Panday’s report details issues related to “governance, administration and power abuse” at the university.

Panday submitted this report to the Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela on Wednesday and requested she investigate the matter.

• feature1@witness.co.za

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