Varsity gets new chief
The University of Venda for Science and Technology (Univen) has finally appointed a new vice chancellor and principal, Professor Peter Amuga Mbati, following long search for someone to head the institution.
The institution has not had a principal for two years after Professor Gesler Nkondo left under a cloud.
Nkondo's leadership was the subject of scrutiny after he allegedly made questionable decisions.
The university is said to also have failed to attract funders under Nkondo. Mbati is a former Kenyan national who is now a South African citizen.
He holds a Doctorate in Philosophy from the Jomo Kenyata University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya, and has published 59 research articles in peer review accredited journals.
Currently the Group Executive Director at the Agricultural Research Council's livestock unit, Mbati is expected to assume his new responsibilities in January.
He had been principal of the University of Free State, QwaQwa campus, before taking up this post.
Mbati's appointment means that the work of Dr Jimmy Leatt, who was an administrator, is over, together with that of the interim management that was appointed in 2005 after Nkondo's departure.
But there are questions still lingering over allegations of mismanagement of funds that occurred during Nkondo's tenure. Millions of rands are alleged to have gone missing.
One of the challenges Mbati will be faced with is the recovery of the missing millions and closing the door for staff members who are said to have been milking funds from the institution.
Earlier, the university's spokesman Rufus Kharidzha had said the university would not open a case against Nkondo nor will it try to recover the money from him.
The institution is under a recovery plan to up its capacity to accommodate more than 10000 students.