Nehawu bays for UniZulu vice-chancellor’s blood

The alleged misgovernance and corruption at the University of Zululand, on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast, has reached fever pitch.

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) has come out guns blazing, calling for the university vice-chancellor Xoliswa Mtose’s head.

The union, which is the biggest affiliate of the Congress of South African Trade Union, also wants the council chaired by Nomarashiya Caluza, the South African Democratic Teachers Union secretary in KZN, to be shown the door.

“The poor state of governance and endemic corruption in Ungoye (UniZulu) calls for the vice-chancellor, together with her council, to go. The management is doing everything to silence the voice of the workers while the university is being torn apart,”  said Nehawu provincial secretary, Ayanda Zulu.

Nehawu’s call comes hot on the heels of an expose by this paper, where two whistleblowers alleged that an official known to Sunday World had been colluding with contractors to loot the university.

According to one whistleblower, who penned a letter to various law enforcement agencies, including the Special Investigating Unit and the Public Protector, millions of rands meant for various infrastructure projects at the KwaDlangezwa township-based university have been  embezzled.

Zulu said the university had a dire shortage of student residences, which forced students to live in dilapidated and life-threatening cottages offered by private providers.

Zulu also said Nehawu  had written a letter to the chairperson of the higher education portfolio committee Nompendulo Mkhatshwa, in which they implored her to intervene, saying Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande had ignored a complaint they  sent to him  three years ago to attend to the problems plaguing the university.

The letter, which we have seen, reads in part: “Nehawu, the only union representing workers in the University of Zululand, submitted the memorandum of demands to the minister of higher education and training on the 29th of October 2020. The memorandum was making an account about the state of the University of Zululand and what needed to be done to rescue the university from rogue elements.

“This letter therefore serves as the request for the audience of the portfolio committee to present the union’s version of the state of the university considering the developments that relate to corruption and maladministration.”

The DA also entered the fray, calling for heads to roll. The official opposition party in the national assembly accuses Nzimande of deliberately dodging the UniZulu crisis. 

“There’s just no urgency from the minister to sort out the mess at the University of Zululand once and for all. The credibility of the institution is at stake.

“We are also expecting the director-general Dr Nkosinathi Sishi to tell us what is happening,” said Chantal King, the party’s shadow minister of higher education. 

Education ministry spokesman Ishmael Mnisi did not respond to questions from Sunday World. Mtose and Caluza ignored our phone calls and the questions we sent to them. 

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