Students plan refocusing of KZN campus

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

The students' representative council (SRC) of the University of KwaZulu- Natal will hold a lekgotla at the weekend to map out its strategy for "refocusing" the institution following the appearance of two senior academics before a university tribunal.

SRC president Mdumiseni Ntuli said students believed that the university must "refocus on its fundamental goals and core business" and move forward after the much-publicised hearing that cleared two of the university's most senior leaders of allegations of sexual harassment.

The student body meets about two weeks after vice chancellor Malegapuru Makgoba returned to his desk after being cleared of sexual harassment allegations. He has not spoken publicly since his return.

Makgoba and council chairman Vincent Maphai were both cleared of charges levelled against them by senior academic Professor Pumela Msweli-Mbanga.

Ntuli said: "We will take very important decisions to attempt to get the university back to its fundamental goals.

"We have to refocus on our core business as a university. We have been concerned over how internal matters regarding the university have been leaked to some media."

Ntuli said there had been no comment from Makgoba regarding his plans, but the student body would make every attempt to work with him.

"We will decide on our strategies in keeping with our mandate from our students and the community. At next month's council meeting we will add our voice to the discussion."

Meanwhile, Msweli-Mbanga has announced the imminent release of her book The Anonymous Letter, a "case study of how women are seriously abused by men in power", based on her own experiences as a "woman leader in higher education".