Unisa Under Investigation For Long-Standing Issues


A recent report into the affairs of the University of South Africa has uncovered deep-rooted governance issues and recommended placing the institution under administration.



Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, commissioned the report after allegations of maladministration and tender irregularities involving Unisa's vice chancellor and principal, Puleng LenkaBula.

The scathing report, compiled by Professor Themba Mosia, highlighted the misuse of millions of rands under the watch of both the university's council and management. According to Mosia, Unisa has been plagued by governance issues since 2016. 

The report exposed a concerning pattern of blurred lines of authority between the council and management, allowing for misconduct to occur unchecked.

In addition, the report identified a troubling trend of denial and ignorance by both the council and management, even when clear instances of wrongdoing were brought to their attention. The documented misconduct included the flouting of procurement processes, irregular appointments of staff members, and substantial salary increases.

Given the severity of the findings, Professor Mosia recommended that Unisa be placed under full administration, with both the council and management relieved of their duties. The responsibility now falls on Minister Nzimande to carefully consider the report's recommendations and make a decision regarding the university's future.

The revelations in this report have raised serious concerns among academics about the governance and management practices at Unisa, one of South Africa's leading higher education institutions. 

Senior research fellow at the Johannesburg Institute for advanced study from the University of Johannesburg, Dr Sean Muller, points out that Unisa is yet to address several issues relating to how the university is run.   

There are some deep issues in the South African academy that have not been adequately addressed. One of them is that we have academics in senior positions, professors and associate professors who got their positions by publishing predatory journals which is basically fraud.

He adds that while focusing on financial mismanagement is warranted, there also needs to be a consideration of how corruption in a public institutions can negatively other areas of its administration.   

The potential placement of the university under administration reflects the need for immediate action to rectify the long-standing issues identified in order to restore transparency and accountability at Unisa.


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