Tswane University of Technology under administration

The Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) has been placed under administration with immediate effect, higher education director-general Gwebinkundla Qonde announced on Tuesday.

This comes two weeks after allegations that newly appointed vice-chencellor Professor Johnny Molefe used a revoked evaluation certificate to apply for the job.

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has appointed Professor Themba Mosia as an administrator to replace the university’s council and Molefe, Qonde said.

“Mosia will run the institution for a period of six months,” he said.

Nzimande met the leadership of TUT over Molefe’s appointment and the report on the inquiry into the institution released last year


“He engaged with the council and they made their presentations. After evaluation, the minister felt it was necessary for an administrator to be appointed at TUT,” said Qonde.

Contacted for comment, TUT spokesperson Willa de Ruyte confirmed this in a statement on Tuesday afternoon. She said it was gazetted on Monday.

An inquiry last year headed by Dr Vincent Maphai, to investigate why the institution experienced numerous worker and student protests every year, had revealed many problems.

It also highlighted management’s failure to talk with labour unions and its dubious handling of the institution’s procurement processes. The report was followed by the institution issuing various directives that had to be followed by the TUT leadership, failing which the institution would be placed under administration.

It was recently established that Molefe allegedly used a revoked evaluation certificate to apply for the university’s top job.

Professor John Volmink, who headed a task team investigating Molefe’s qualifications, previously said that when Molefe presented his qualifications he included a certificate of evaluation that the SA Qualifications Authority (Saqa) had issued in error.

Qonde refused to comment on the ministry’s position with regards to Molefe’s appointment or his qualification thereof, except to re-emphasise that the institution was now under administration.

Saqa initially issued the certificate recognising Molefe’s doctorate in business administration that he reportedly obtained from St George’s University International (SGUI) in the Bahamas in 2002. Saqa’s deputy executive officer Joe Samuels said the erroneous certificate was revoked in a registered letter to Molefe in May 2007. It had requested the return of the certificate, which it never received.

There was an accredited St George’s University in the island nation of Grenada in the West Indies, but the SGUI in the Bahamas was “dubious”.

Although a registered letter was allegedly sent to Molefe in 2007 to return the certificate, he had not done so.

Samuels said e-mails and telephone calls had been made and that Saqa had proof of its correspondence with Molefe.

The TUT council defended its decision to appoint Molefe the new head of the institution, saying he had no reason to lie about his doctoral degree as he already had enough qualifications to qualify for the position. However this was dismissed by Saqa.

Molefe also received backing from the university’s student representative council, which said there were people looking to “rubbish” his name.

It said the university had been stable and had improved its financial health ever since Molefe took office in his acting capacity last year.

On Tuesday, the SA Student Congress (Sasco) said it had lost confidence in the TUT council. It further criticised the SRC for releasing a statement in support of Molefe.

Sasco said Molefe had proven himself to be a “disingenuous character with little respect” for students, his colleagues, and the higher education sector in general. — Sapa

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

Q&A Sessions: George Euvrard, the brains behind our cryptic crossword

George Euvrard spoke to Athandiwe Saba about his passion for education, clues on how to solve his crosswords and the importance of celebrating South Africa.

Poachers in prisons tell their stories

Interviews with offenders provide insight into the structure of illegal wildlife trade networks

More top stories

No one should be as rich as Elon Musk

The reactions to Elon Musk’s billionaire status are evidence that far too many South Africans have not fully grasped the destructive consequences of inequality. Entrepreneur...

Department of basic education edges closer to releasing matric results

The basic education department has said that it is almost done with the marking process and that the capturing of marks is in progress.

The rare fairytale of Percy Tau

Through much hard work and a bit of good fortune, the South African attacker has converted a potential horror story into magic

Somali troops may have been drawn into Ethiopia’s civil war

The Mail & Guardian spoke to Somalis about their relatives who disappeared after signing up for military training and fear they may have been killed
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…