New round in UKZN battle

2008-04-14 00:00

Kanthan Pillay, the controversial financial head of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), who was dismissed after a sexual harassment and corruption scandal over a year ago, has promised to air more of the institution’s dirty washing in a bid to clear his name.

Pillay was dismissed after a protracted disciplinary hearing on the grounds that his relationship with UKZN’s vice chancellor, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, had broken down completely. This follows allegations by senior academic Professor Pumela Msweli-Mbanga that Makgoba and the chairman of the executive, Dr Vincent Maphai, had sexually harassed her.

It later emerged that Msweli-Mbanga, with whom Pillay was allegedly having an affair, had overlooked a number of irregularities when it came to Pillay’s Masters degree, which she was supervising. The degree was subsequently withdrawn and both Msweli-Mbanga and Pillay were dismissed. Both fought back and their cases eventually went to arbitration.

However, while the CCMA found in favour of Msweli-Mbanga (she had retracted her resignation prior to the scandal, but the university failed to recognise this), it upheld UKZN’s position to dismiss Pillay.

In a press statement, Pillay said: “I have maintained from the very beginning that this was a conspiracy and that I have been the victim of an orchestrated campaign initiated by the vice chancellor. I will now break my silence with regards to the real reason that I was dismissed. I will first inform the [Education minister] and thereafter call a press conference to share with the public the details of what has become a national disgrace.”

He said the issues that could be presented to the CCMA were limited to matters of procedure and misconduct. “Yet the commissioner did not follow procedure, totally ignoring our procedural points and evidence and chose to act as a reviewer rather than hear the case de novu which is the established practice. It goes without saying that my legal remedies have not been exhausted and I will be referring the matter to the Labour Court for review.”

UKZN’s acting vice chancellor, Professor Fikile Mazibuko, said that the university reserves its right to comment fully on the matter in due course.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.