...By Larry John for TDPel Media.
A comprehensive report commissioned by Minister Blade Nzimande has recommended that the University of South Africa (Unisa) be placed under administration due to management issues and alleged maladministration.
The report sheds light on the troubled relationship between the university’s management and Vice-Chancellor Puleng Lenkabula, citing instances of financial mismanagement and disregard for procurement procedures, among other concerns.
Political Pressure Mounts on Nzimande
The Freedom Front Plus (FF+) has urged Minister Nzimande to take action based on the findings and recommendations outlined by Independent Assessor Professor Themba Mosia.
The party highlights that this is not the first time intervention has been required at Unisa and accuses the Minister of turning a blind eye to previous issues.
The leaked report, initiated by a ministerial task team, reveals further claims of mass production of substandard degrees at Unisa.
Damning Revelations from the Report
The report uncovers several alarming findings regarding Unisa’s management and financial practices.
These include Vice-Chancellor Lenkabula’s exorbitant spending on office and residential renovations, questionable promotions, hiring decisions, and backpay for staff members.
Specific examples cited include kitchen renovations amounting to R1 million, the purchase of a Mercedes-Benz, expenses of R8,000 for vacuum cleaning lessons, and over R280,000 spent on curtains.
Furthermore, the report reveals that Unisa’s certificates lack security features, making them susceptible to fraudulent duplication.
The failure to provide essential resources to National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) students, resulting in fruitless expenditure of over R8 million, is also highlighted.
Calls for Law Enforcement Involvement
The Congress of the People (Cope) has joined the chorus of voices urging Minister Nzimande to take decisive action, including involving law enforcement agencies.
Cope calls for the Minister to report the matters to the South African Police Services and the Special Investigation Unit for further investigation and action.
The party emphasizes the seriousness of the findings, indicating a collapse of moral integrity among those responsible for overseeing and managing the university.
Cope criticizes the government for turning a blind eye to corruption, which they believe has significantly damaged the country.
In conclusion, the scathing report into alleged maladministration at Unisa underscores the urgent need for administrative intervention.
The findings reveal a troubled relationship between management and Vice-Chancellor Lenkabula, as well as financial irregularities and the production of low-quality degrees.
With mounting political pressure and calls for law enforcement involvement, Minister Nzimande faces a critical decision that will impact the future of Unisa and its reputation as an institution of higher education.