Investigations needed at VUT – NEHAWU

Union says there are allegations of fraud, death threats, corruption and nepotism

NEHAWU calls for investigations into allegations of fraud, death threats, corruption and nepotism at VUT

22 February 2019

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] calls for immediate investigations into allegations of fraud, death threats, corruption and nepotistic hiring practices at the Vaal University of Technology [VUT].

The national union strongly believes that the Minister of Higher Education and Training must immediately intervene at the university as it is on the brink of a collapse due to alleged looting of financial resources of the institution. The management has been accused of gross corruption and in our eyes these are very serious allegations that must be investigated as a matter of urgency.

NEHAWU is in possession of evidence that confirms fraud and financial impropriety that has taken place at the university. A letter will be written by the union to both the Minister and the Chairperson of the council to outline our unhappiness with the situation at the university.

NEHAWU will also brief the African National Congress [ANC], the Congress of South African Trade Unions [COSATU] and the South African Communist Party [SACP] on the allegations that have been levelled against the VUT management. Currently, our legal team is busy perusing the evidence in our disposal with the view to open criminal cases against those alleged to be involved in acts of corruption and fraud.

The national union is also busy preparing a report for the Hawks, the Minister, Portfolio Committee, Public Protector and Auditor General on the financial impropriety at the university. We hope with the information that will be provided by the union action will be taken against those who have looted financial resources of the university.

Our member and former Director in the Office of the Vice Chancellor Cde Mpho Diago has been victimised and intimidated to raising issues of corruption and fraud at the university. Cde Diago has received numerous death threats that resulted him leaving his employment for fear of his safety. The following are issues that Cde Diago had raised:

- Favouritism and maladministration by VC and Principal (irregular promotions, allowances and procurement processes and interference in disciplinary processes. Breach of University policies, Higher Education Act and PFMA.

- Non-implementation of investigation reports with serious findings by the VC and Principal

- Interference into Management and Administration of the University by the Chairperson of Council.

- Unfounded accusations of sabotage of the VC by members of EMC which caused distrust, compromises the relationship and a likely risk on governance, administration and management of the university.

NEHAWU has always prided itself as a union that fights all forms of corruption wherever it rears its ugly head. We will do everything in our power and use all the resources available at our disposal to ensure that corruption is uprooted at VUT and all other universities including TVET colleges. Corruption is a cancer that prohibits quality service delivery and proper running of our public institutions and society as a whole must join hands in exposing it.

Issued by Khaya Xaba, Media Liaison Officer, NEHAWU, 22 February 2019