UNIZULU takes out full-page ad to refute claims of fraud and corruption
The University of Zululand has hit back in a full page advertisement in the Sunday Times at a former employee‚ Hlakaniphani Jamile‚ who has accused the institution of fraud and corruption.
“The University of Zululand Executive has a collective responsibility to the truth. That is why it refutes the latest fabricated news published by the Mercury‚ a member of the Independent Newspaper Group cartel with its latest ‘bombshell disclosure’ that the University of Zululand is under investigation by the Hawks and its repeated lies and misinformation pedaled by disgruntled former University employee HLAKANIPHANI ZAMOKWAKHE JAMILE. It has taken itself out of the realm of investigative journalism or even news satire clearly into the realm of Trumpesque fake news‚” reads the advert titled ‘The Assassination of The University of Zululand’.
This comes amid reports by the publication that the University and its Vice Chancellor‚ Professor Xoliswa Mtose‚ are being investigated by the Hawks‚ also known as the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation.
Former university lecturer Jamile‚ told the Mercury that he opened a case against Mtose in November last year.
Jamile is accusing the Vice Chancellor of:
* Having awarded an irregular private security tender.
* Having used R35 million worth of student funding for luxury accommodation for herself and her executives.
* Having bought or planned to purchase student accommodation in Richards Bay at an inflated price.
* Having fraudulently awarded a former SRC president academic marks.
* Illegally changing accredited programmes to unapproved programmes.
* Having been fraudulently appointed to the position of vice-chancellor.
The advert says “Each of these accusations has been addressed previously and shown to be unequivocally false”‚ and further goes on to attempt to discredit Jamile.
“Jamile has the following qualifications: B Com (UNIZULU)‚ UED (UNIZULU) B Ed (UNIZULU). He was appointed by the University of Zululand on 1 January 2006. Since then he has taught in the Faculty of Education‚” it reads.
“These days under the current management‚ Jamile would not even be shortlisted for a lecturing position as the minimum requirement is a Master’s degree which Jamile does not hold. Despite this‚ or maybe because of it (in order to defend his indefensible appointment) he became a leader in NEHAWU [National Health Education Allied Workers Union].”
The advert states that operating as a member of NEHAWU‚ Jamile led the industrial action that had been caused by the university refusing to give in to the union’s demands for a 40% increase for all staff members and “the insourcing of all members of cooperatives working at the University which was in violation of the agreement signed by NEHAWU in 2000”.
Following violence on campus‚ the University obtained an interdict against the union and its members which led to members leaving the union and the strike collapsing after 10 weeks. Jamile is alleged to also have allowed the formal union recognition agreement with the university to lapse.
“It is interesting to note that throughout the duration of the strike‚ Jamile was undergoing a disciplinary hearing for Gross Misconduct. Might there have been personal self-interest in the extension of industrial action? Jamile was accused of having presented fraudulently two students as having completed the required number of modules to obtain a qualification and graduate. The independent chairperson of the disciplinary tribunal found Jamile guilty on all charges resulting in the withdrawal of credits from the students and‚ in one case the University withdrew the degree.
“You decide whether accusations from such a person constitute news or fake news‚” it added.