TUT administration move welcomed

2011-08-17 18:05
Pretoria - The decision by Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande to place the Tshwane University of Technology under administration was on Wednesday welcomed by the Democratic Alliance and the South African Union of Students (Saus).

DA education spokesperson Junita Kloppers-Lourens said she was "delighted" at the announcement on Tuesday by acting director general Gwebinkundla Qonde that Nzimande had decided to place TUT under administration.

She said that in June she had requested Nzimande to intervene to prevent Professor Johnny Molefe, the then acting vice chancellor, from being appointed fulltime to the post.

Kloppers-Lourens questioned Molefe's status during the two-year period under which the institution would be under administration.

"What will become of Professor Molefe? What is the status of the investigation into his conduct? Will he still draw his salary of R2.2m per year?"

She said there was a "strong suggestion" that Molefe had contravened the Higher Education Act when he allegedly presented a doctorate that is not recognised when he applied for the vice chancellor position.

Academic integrity

The decision to place TUT under administration came two weeks after allegations that Molefe had used a revoked evaluation certificate when applying for the post.

Professor Themba Mosia was appointed administrator.

Qonde said the circumstances surrounding Molefe's appointment had seriously compromised the academic integrity and reputation of the institution.

"By this action and others, it has shown that it has failed to take seriously the recommendations of the independent assessor and has deliberately ignored the minister's reasonable request for council to postpone the appointment until he had decided whether to appoint an administrator or not," he said.

Kloppers-Lourens questioned whether the administrator would set aside appointments made by Molefe.

The Saus said it applauded the announcement.

A statement released by Saus secretary general Mbali Hlophe read: "The report of the independent assessor, published in the government gazette on 22 November 2010, identified serious problems in the governance and management of TUT, which stem from the human resource portfolio of the institution.

"Instead of taking the advise [sic] and recommendations of the report, the TUT council undermined its analysis and dubiously opted to appoint Molefe as vice chancellor."

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