Probe starts at varsity

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

A team of independent investigators appointed by Minister of Education Naledi Pandor, pictured, arrived at the University of Zululand yesterday to conduct a probe into the financial affairs of the institution.

The university was thrown into turmoil on Tuesday when lectures and exams were disrupted by protests by both students and lecturers.

At the core of the lecturers' grievances were unpaid salary increments.

Students protested because their exams were disrupted by the lecturers' actions.

Police had to be called in to calm the situation.

Nehawu, which represents the workers on campus, called for the axing of key management personnel, including rector Rachel Gumbi, accusing her of financial irregularities and misappropriation of funds.

University spokesman Thula Makhathini yesterday said the decision to conduct an independent audit was prom- pted by allegations of misappropriation of funds.

"The university senate felt that an external mediator should be called in," Makhathini said. "The audit will determine the truth so that corrective action can be taken."

Makhathini also said that the university management had agreed to a once-off payment of 12,5 percent to all personnel.

"Activities at the university are back to normal," Makhathini said.