News / South Africa

Gosebo Mathope
3 minute read
29 Jan 2018
2:35 pm

UPDATE: Presidency refers Unizulu complainant to DHET

Gosebo Mathope

In the letter Naicker asserts that 'government' and the minister of higher education failed to take action, Presidency confirms it has referred the matter to Prof Mkhize.

Josephine Naicker. LinkedIn.

Axed University of Zululand (Unizulu) CFO Josephine Naicker has once again approached the office of the deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa requesting intervention in the on-going saga at the University of Zululand (Unizulu). This follows another letter Naicker, through her lawyers, sent to Ramaphosa a week ago.

“In light of the failure of Government, and in particular Mr. Deputy President, as well as the Honourable Minister, to take any action, the concerns and criticisms above seem justified. It seems clear that the battle against corruption promised at Davos is slow out of the starting blocks.

“The Honourable Minister Nzimande, duly represented, communicated an intention to comply with a subpoena duces tecum served on him to provide our client with the Independent Assessor’s report (appointed by the Minister of Higher Education on or about 22 November 2010) into the affairs of the University of Zululand in terms of s44 to s47 of the Higher Education Act 101 of 1997,

“And the three forensic auditors’ reports concluded during or about January 2012 into the affairs of the University of Zululand, and which were prepared pursuant to the appointment of the Administrator to the University of Zululand by the Minister of Higher Education. Instead the University of Zululand’s attorneys, duly instructed by VC Mtose, objected thereto, and refused to hand over the reports,” the latest letter states.

The communication also laments that “It is a great pity that resort to Courts is necessary in order to compel the Executive to fulfil its functions.”

READ MORE: Axed Unizulu CFO petitions Ramaphosa

Acting Chief Director of communication in the deputy president’s office Tyrone Seale this morning informed The Citizen the letters have been received at the Union Buildings and were in turn referred to the minister of higher education and training Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize.

Meanwhile, the legal firm mentioned in minutes of Unizulu executive council meeting understood to have been held two weeks ago and where it was mentioned the company will undertake investigation into seven areas as outlined in the “terms of reference” has denied being given a contract do so by Unizulu.

Among the “terms of reference” in the minutes The Citizen is in possession of, the conveyancing attorneys are tasked with, among other things, investigating the relationship between the university and portfolio committee on higher education and training and the “recommendations” of the committee on the institution.

“I do not know what it is that you are referring to. We are not aware of the investigation you are referring to. It is not possible to deal with the remaining questions as they are premised on an investigation that we are not aware of.

“For the record, we do not have a prior business relationship with Mr CV Gamede [Chairperson of Coucil]. We do work for Umgeni Water as one of their panel attorneys. We continue to do work for it. We handle their conveyancing and litigation work. We have never met or consulted with Mr Gamede on all matters we have handled on behalf of Umgeni Water,” an official of the law firm wrote to The Citizen in response to a previous story.