Durban – One member of staff at the University of KwaZulu-Natal has been dismissed and 18 others have been served with letters of intention to suspend them for their alleged involvement in the sale of places at the Nelson Mandela School of Medicine, Dr Albert van Jaarsveld, the university’s vice chancellor and principal, said on Thursday.
Five students have been implicated in the admissions scam, he said.
He revealed that "the wholescale investigation into fraudulent admissions conducted by the university has resulted in a search and seizure operation involving 286 staff members that could be potentially implicated".
It is being undertaken with the assistance of an external forensic audit company to gather further evidence, investigate and determine the full extent of staff involvement.
Management at the university initiated the lengthy investigation which led to the uncovering of the syndicate.
“[The lengthy process] was critical to ensure that all people implicated face the full might of the law," Van Jaarsveld said.
"Acts of fraud, bribery and corruption diverted scarce resources away from the university’s core operations and threaten not only this institution’s reputation, but also the integrity of our selection and admission processes," he said in a statement posted on the university’s Facebook page on Thursday.
“We challenge other academic institutions to conduct their own robust investigations to drive out further corruption in the sector.
"We remain committed to protecting the integrity and reputation of all qualifications awarded by the Institution and have not ruled out the fact that further arrests could be imminent,” he added.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane told News24 that two students had been arrested for public violence during Thursday’s protest.
"They will be charged by Umbilo police. They will appear in court soon," he said.
They were part of a student protest outside the medical school. They were demanding the release of a R1.4m KPMG report into alleged acts of bribery and corruption at the campus.