Another varsity head gets special leave but council won’t say why

Chris de Beer, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University vice-chancellor. Picture:
Chris de Beer, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University vice-chancellor. Picture:

The council of Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) has placed vice-chancellor Professor Chris de Beer on special leave.

City Press has learnt that the council took the decision at an emergency meeting yesterday.

According to a statement issued by council chairperson Maria Rambauli yesterday, the council had received a confidential report with allegations levelled against De Beer.

Rambauli did not go into details about the report.

University spokesperson Eric Pule had not responded to questions at the time of writing and this story will be updated once he has done so.

In her statement, Rambauli said after long deliberations, and in the spirit of justice and fairness, the council ruled that the allegations against De Beer warranted an investigation.

“Consistent with the provisions of Promotion of Administrative Justice Act 2000, council resolved that the vice-chancellor should be given a notice of intention to put him on special leave. This leave, in the council’s view, will afford the vice-chancellor the opportunity to respond adequately to allegations levelled against him and submit same to the chairperson of the council within a defined period,” Rambauli said.

She said it was also the council’s view that De Beer should remain off campus during this period to allow him time and space to draft and submit his response to the council.

“It should be underlined that the vice-chancellor remains innocent until proven otherwise, and decision of the council does not in any way imply that there was any wrongdoing on his part. He remains the vice-chancellor of the university even if he is on special leave, under the circumstances,” Rambauli said.

The council, she said, resolved that the operational and academic activities of the university would resume today without delay.

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