Lecturer ‘left in the dark’

2013-08-30 00:00

THE former senior lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal who was being investigated for sexual harassment has not been given any clarification on why his service was terminated.

The university fired Jabulani Zikhali two weeks ago not because of the sexual harassment claim, but for alleged non-disclosure of information pertaining to his rehiring in April 2013.

Zikhali was dismissed from UKZN on August 16. This after The Witness queried the university as to why the institution had rehired him in April 2013 after he had resigned in October 2012 while being investigated on charges of sexual harassment made by several work colleagues.

Zikhali was the head of the Enriched Management Studies Programme when he resigned. He reappeared as a lecturer at the Maurice Webb Race Relations Unit before being dismissed.

Zikhali, who sent a letter to the university last Monday demanding more clarity on the sexual harassment charge and the reasons for his dismissal, said he has now been “left in the dark”.

He had previously told The Witness that when he was rehired, he was never asked to disclose any information as the university already had all his information on record.

“They have since only responded once to say the matter is with their legal counsel. To date I don’t know anything new,” said Zikhali.

The Witness asked the university to provide clarity on what they meant by non-disclosure as their reason for dismissing Zikhali. Despite repeated e-mails and queries, the university has failed to respond.

The Witness had asked UKZN to confirm the receipt of Zikhali’s 48-hour demand letter; whether they would accede to his request; what exactly Zikhali failed to disclose that was used as the justification for his suspension; clarification on the type of contract he was granted and whether the university would further investigate the claims of sexual harassment.

UKZN lecturer Kellie Steinke, who was an alleged victim of Zikhali’s harassment, had approached The Witness with the information concerning Zikhali’s reappointment.

Even though she had resigned before approaching the paper, with her notice ending today, she told The Witness this week that she left early as she was being ostracised by staff for coming forward.

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