execs fleece varsity

Chester Makana

Officials at the University of Venda have been caught with their fingers in the till after fraudulently claiming R1,5 million in reimbursements without providing proof, say external auditors.

PricewaterhouseCoopers were assigned to investigate maladministration by management after workers and students blew the whistle on campus.

Officials were reimbursed with R1,5million without proof of expenditure.

The auditors say that travel claims were reimbursed before the expenditure was incurred, while payments for travel expenses were not processed through the payroll.

The report highlights abuse of power by officials to enrich themselves from the institution's funds, while others channelled bursaries to their relatives.

A confidential auditor's report, which is in Sowetan' s possession, says the university was poorly supervised while officials milked the institution .

The report finds that some of the officials were reimbursed with cash before the expenditure had been incurred.

The university was also found to have violated procurement policies by awarding contracts to companies without following proper procedure. Millions seem to have been spent unnecessarily, while management failed to notice the crisis that forced needy students to suffer while funds were wasted.

The auditors also found that R1million was paid to Fhulufhelani Printing Services, a company owned by fired staffer Ndina Eunice Nevhulamba. The payment was approved by suspended director of public relations Rufus Kharidzha.

But according to university legal adviser Nanga Lidovho, those who championed the corruption probe had acted contrary to university policy.

Lidovho said Kharidzha and Tendani Ramulongo were charged with misconduct for channelling R60000 meant for needy students to their own children.

They are expected to appear before the disciplinary committee on June 5.