Former lecturer appears in court for alleged role in murder of UniZulu academic

2018-12-05 17:07
University of Zululand

University of Zululand

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

A former lecturer at the University of Zululand (UniZulu) appeared in court on Tuesday for his alleged part in the murder of prominent academic Professor Gregory Kamwendo.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Natasha Kara said academic Solly Nkuna, 49, and suspected trigger man Oscar Mbhekiseni Mthiyane, 50, are accused of premeditated murder.

They return to the Empangeni Magistrate's Court on December 12 where their formal bail application will be heard.

It has been widely reported that Kamwendo was killed after allegedly uncovering a fraudulent PhD syndicate at the institution.

The university, however, denied this in a statement on Wednesday and said vital facts had been distorted.

"We have noted with shock that speculation and pre-emptive arguments are widespread on the motive of the murder. Yet the law enforcement investigators of the case have not made any public statement on the motive of the killing."

Dissertations found not to be compliant

Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele did not reveal details of the case but confirmed that the men appeared in court.

UniZulu said the allegedly erroneous reports were aimed at denting the reputation of both Kamwendo and the institution.

It said that Kamwendo did not undertake any investigation into the alleged awarding of fake PhD qualifications. 

The university did, however, concede that for the period 2017/2018, the higher degrees committee and senate "discovered that some of the presented dissertations were found not to comply with the policy imperatives".

"Therefore management, including Prof Kamwendo, diligently applied the University of Zululand's policies that govern and regulate the quality assurance as well as the integrity of its postgraduate administration, supervision and the eventual graduation of these candidates."

Following quality assurance checks, the university said it became clear that in certain instances, some dissertations and theses "had procedural and quality shortcomings".

Staff members undermine leadership 'through mafia tendencies'

"This resulted in disciplinary processes being instituted against the perpetrators who happened to be the supervisors and academic staff of the university."

The university said that after it instituted action against the staff, blame was shifted to management.

"Unfortunately, it has become a norm that when the perpetrators, who have connections in higher places, are disciplined by management, the blame is shifted to management and accused of maladministration practises and victimisation of staff."

The university said it believed that Kamwendo could have been a victim of staff members who "continued undermining the leadership through mafia tendencies".

"Hence his tragic assassination and untimely death. The university urges that the case should be allowed to follow all due processes without misrepresentations and fabrication of facts and justice must be done."

ALSO READ: ‘UKZN had no right to revoke PhD’

Read more on:    durban  |  courts

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.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Cluster Financial Manager

Cape Town
Network Finance
R950 000.00 - R1 000 000.00 Per Year

SQL Reporter

Cape Town
Communicate Cape Town IT
R10 000.00 - R12 000.00 Per Month

Reporting Accountant

Cape Town
Network Finance Professional / Prudential
R310 000.00 - R360 000.00 Per Year

Property [change area]

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.