Top varsity officials face probe over alleged corruption in awarding of tenders

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A forensic investigation into allegations of corruption in the awarding of tenders has set the cat among the pigeons at the embattled Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) in Durban.

City Press can reveal that vice-chancellor Enoch Duma Malaza and the university council chairperson Morailane Morailane are at each other’s throats following a decision by the council to conduct a forensic probe into contracts awarded to private companies in the past 18 months.

Malaza was suspended by the council on April 29 pending the outcome of the probe into allegations of corruption against him.

Morailane has stepped aside voluntarily until the probe is finalised.

Malaza confirmed his suspension on Thursday, saying he was suspended “for bringing to the council of the university evidence of the involvement of members of the council in corruption and unethical behaviour in governance”.

Morailane said he had stepped aside so he could not be seen as interfering with the probe.

“I’m stepping aside until I am exonerated of the allegation of indirectly instructing the vice-chancellor in the awarding of the tender he alleges I was involved in. This is until the forensic investigations on all procurements in the last 18 months is finished. I reject all and any allegations levelled against me.”

The MUT would not divulge the details of the contracts under investigation.

But in a statement released to the university community, which was also sent to City Press as part of a response to questions, the MUT’s deputy council chairperson Nomusa Qunta said that:

  • A virtual council meeting was held on Wednesday last week to discuss various matters affecting the university, including the allegations of procurement irregularities and the relationship between Malaza and Morailane; and
  • Malaza had brought allegations against Morailane and Sifiso Keswa, chairperson of the council’s audit and risk committee, who had also relinquished his position pending the outcome of the investigation.

Last week, Professor Marcus Ramogale was appointed to act in Malaza’s position and was asked by the university council to consider taking action against internal staff members implicated in the alleged corruption.

The preliminary report from the forensic investigators is expected at the end of this month.

I’m stepping aside until I am exonerated of the allegation of indirectly instructing the vice-chancellor in the awarding of the tender he alleges I was involved in.
Morailane Morailane

Qunta told City Press on Friday that Morailane had “denied all the allegations”.

“As the person charged with the governance of the university, he saw fit to step aside in order to allow the investigation to be conducted without any perception of interference by him.”

Keswa told City Press on Friday that he had nothing to do with the allegations detailed by Qunta in her announcement.

He claimed that he was being dragged by Malaza into the shenanigans of the MUT and that he had asked the university to rectify Qunta’s statement, which was also published in the media.

Keswa said he was never involved in any procurement processes.


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