Pandor lauds Jansen for 'great work'

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Education Minister Naledi Pandor has praised the former administrator of Durban University of Technology, Professor Jonathan Jansen, for turning the institution around and for giving it a good image.

Jansen was seconded to the institution for a year and has been recognised as the person who brought stability after he oversaw the election of a new council and leadership.

The previous leadership had been embroiled in squabbles, corruption and allegations of maladministration.

Pandor said the image of the university had been severely harmed by the conduct of individuals who had sought personal glory and material gain at the cost of students, staff and the academic enterprise.

She was speaking at the official inauguration of Ela Gandhi, great granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, as chancellor and of Roy du Pre as rector and vice-chancellor of the DUT on Tuesday.

Pandor urged academics, staff and students to put their shoulders to the wheel and ensurethe university produced quality graduates that were needed in the labour market.

Against the backdrop of a history of conflict, divisions and even dishonesty at the university, Pandor expressed faith in Gandhi and Du Pre .

"I am hopeful that their presence will infuse new values and a calm sense of purpose into the institution," said Pandor.

She urged each individual associated with DUT to adopt a new approach and attitude.

"The opportunity to build a new team, a competent administrator and relevant key skills programmes, requires the university to become an institution with a unity of purpose," she said.

Gandhi said she was positive the new team would bring stability to the institution. She pledged to ensurethe university was a model for knowledge and wisdom.

"We can be innovative and open to suggestions," said Gandhi.