Racism allegation: Panel to probe UKZN’s rector

2015-12-09 09:59

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Pietermaritzburg - The University of KwaZulu-Natal has set up a three-person panel to probe multiple allegations against the sitting rector, including one of racism.

Vice-Chancellor Albert van Jaarsveld is navigating an internal storm after having just come through a stressful final quarter in which students went on the rampage, causing more than R30 million in damage, and then embarked on the #feesmustfall campaign.

The board of enquiry, which was constituted on Monday, is expected to probe several issues raised by Professor Deo Jaganyi, Professor Renuka Vithal, Professor Cheryl Potgieter and Professor John Mubangizi, all of whom are deputy vice-chancellors.

They had sent a letter, leaked to the press, to the council in which they made a series of accusations against the vice-chancellor.

Senior executives party to the letter are head of student services Sibusiso Chalufu, corporate relations head Lesiba Seshoka and chief financial officer Bulelani Mahlangu.

The letter accused Van Jaarsveld of unfairly scoring all the executives low on their performance appraisals, thus jeopardising their bonuses and contract extensions. He is also accused of excluding John Mubangizi, head of the law and management college, from discussions on the future of the university’s business school because he is black, and finally he was accused of “racist tendencies”.

Chair of Council Dr Ayanda Ntsaluba said the panel is an “independent three-person board of enquiry to consider the matters raised by some members of the university’s executive”.

“The membership of the board of enquiry, its terms of reference and necessary time frame will be finalised shortly allowing the panel to commence with its mandate. [They] will present its recommendations to council,” said Ntsaluba.

He said no further comment would be made until the process was finalised and he appealed to all involved to “ensure that the effective functioning of the university is maintained”.

• jonathan.erasmus@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  ukzn

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