Mangosuthu University decries ‘unrealistic demands’ from students

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The Mangosuthu University of Technology has urged students not to make unrealistic demands. Students staged ongoing protests at the university in uMlazi south of Durban since the beginning of this year.

In a media briefing, the chairperson of the Mangosuthu University of Technology council, Morailane Morailane, says students’ demands are sometimes unrealistic.

Last month, students demanded that NSFAS funded students receive their full learning material allowance.

Morailane says they did not want the university to deduct half of the amount to pay for their laptops.

“This plan by the Finance Department was meant to not only reduce the debt that students would have accumulated by the end of their studies, but it was also an attempt at ensuring that all NSFAS-funded students who require laptops would be guaranteed a device to allow them to participate in the blended learning. Instead, the SRC proposed 100% release of the learning materials’ allowance.”

Meanwhile, the probe into vice-chancellor, Doctor Enoch Malaza and members of MUT’s senior management team has not been concluded since their suspension in May last year.

Morailane says disciplinary hearings against the vice-chancellor and senior managers have made significant progress.

Malaza has been suspended due to allegations of procurement irregularities.

A senior manager allegedly also asked for a R700 000 kickback in connection with a R99 million security contract. Morailane sets out the developments in these cases.

“Our substantive vice-chancellor and principal, Dr Enoch Duma Malaza, has been on suspension since April 2020 by resolution of council upon serious allegations levelled against him. A forensic investigation was instituted to delve into those allegations. In respect of the hearings relating to the suspended director of risk and compliance, Dr Jerome Mabaso and suspended senior director of operations, Mr Muzi Khumalo, charges were placed on record on 17 and 18 December 2020 respectively when the matters were first set down. The disciplinary hearings in all three matters proceeded in March and April 2021 with significant progress. The matters will proceed in June and hopefully be concluded in July 2021,” says Morailane.

Meanwhile, the university has approved a 5% wage increase for employees.