Varsity staffer cries foul over severance pay

Alex Matlala

A dispute has erupted between the management of the University of Limpopo (Turfloop) and an admin officer over a voluntarily severance package.

Tlou Makgoka claimed yesterday that she was forced to resign from work after the management told her that her application form for the package had been lost. Makgoka said she submitted her application for the package on March 11 to the then human resources manager Ray Liebenberg.

Liebenberg allegedly advised her to take the application to her supervisor for signature and return it to him.

"But when I enquired about the application after two weeks, I was told the form had gone missing and that there was no trace of it. I find this amazing and think there is more to it.

"I believe there are some officials in the management who wanted me to resign than give me the money."

Makgoka said she believed the management was giving her the run-around to delay processing her application so they could "make it impossible for me to leave the institution".

Makgoka, who resigned from work yesterday, claimed she was forced to do so because of the delay by the management to approve her application.

The difference between the severance and resignation packages is that the former has extra incentives while those who resign benefit only from the balance of their leave days and pension payout.

But the university's spokesman, Kgalema Mohuba, yesterday denied Makgoka's claims, saying the claims were not true.

Mohuba said Makgoka forwarded her application later than it was expected. "We only received her application a few days after the deadline. That means Makgoka did not play her cards according to the rules as required by the university.

"Makgoka should also take note of the fact that there are many staffers who applied on time but their applications had still not been approved."

The national Department of Education provided R15 million for Turfloop and Medunsa in October last year for the two institutions to restructure.

The department wanted to put off 400 staff members in the administration and support staff in both universities.

But only 180 voluntary severance packages were allegedly approved.