MPS fume at Unizul no-show in Par­lia­ment


THE vice-chan­cel­lor of the Univer­sity of Zu­l­u­land Pro­fes­sor Xoliswa Mtose was the ele­phant ab­sent from the room when the univer­sity’s del­e­ga­tion ap­peared be­fore Par­lia­ment this week.

Mtose and coun­cil chair­man Cyril Gamede ten­dered apolo­gies on grounds of ill­health for a meet­ing with the portfolio com­mit­tee on higher ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing.

The trou­bled univer­sity, in­cor­po­rat­ing all its stake­hold­ers, had been in­vited to make pre­sen­ta­tions on its state of af­fairs.

The ab­sence of the pair, par­tic­u­larly Mtose, was grudg­ingly ac­cepted by the com­mit­tee, which threat­ened to have them hauled in the next time de­spite their health sta­tus.

They said Par­lia­ment would have its med­i­cal per­son­nel on standby when the pair ap­peared to mon­i­tor their health.

The pair’s ab­sence caused some MPS to fume as pro­to­col was at times not fol­lowed by the univer­sity’s del­e­ga­tion when they made pre­sen­ta­tions.

This af­ter con­vo­ca­tion rep­re­sen­ta­tive Nh­laka­nipho Nk­wanyana made ad­di­tions to a pre­sen­ta­tion made by del­e­ga­tion leader, deputy vice-chan­cel­lor Pro­fes­sor Gideon de Wet.

Nk­wanyana raised con­cerns with how the univer­sity was in­vited to the meet­ing.

“We are con­cerned about the sus­pi­cious el­e­ment of col­lu­sion. We got ap­praised of this meet­ing through a spe­cific me­dia re­port be­fore we were for­mally ap­praised of the fact that we must come here,” he said.

The com­mit­tee ob­jected to his ad­dress­ing them on pro­ce­dural grounds and asked the where­abouts of the coun­cil’s deputy chair­man.

“We will not ac­cept your record of com­ment. We pre­fer the ex­ec­u­tive be­fore we hear coun­cil,” EFF’S Sipho Mbatha said.

Nk­wanyana’s protes­ta­tions that he was a coun­cil mem­ber were re­jected.

An at­tempt by CFO Zen­zele Mz­imela to make a pre­sen­ta­tion on be­half of the coun­cil’s risk and au­dit com­mit­tee was also re­jected.

Mbatha said the com­mit­tee was be­ing dis­or­gan­ised by Mtose and Gamede’s ab­sence.

“This is the sec­ond time the vice-chan­cel­lor re­fuses to come to Cape Town. The only time she came to see the com­mit­tee was when we went to Dur­ban,” he said.

“We are not ask­ing the univer­sity to come to Par­lia­ment. We try to save a na­tional as­set and if peo­ple en­trusted with a na­tional as­set don’t show con­scious­ness to re­spon­si­bil­ity in­stilled in them, then we have a problem,” Mbatha added.

His sen­ti­ments were echoed by fel­low MPS with the NFP’S Nh­lanhla Khu­bisa say­ing Mtose has been away for quite some time.

“We do need at some point to have the vice-chan­cel­lor and chair of coun­cil here. The is­sues we get are so dire that we want to re­store the im­age of the univer­sity,” Khu­bisa said.

The ANC’S Si­bongile Mchunu noted that if Mtose was not over­seas, she was not well to at­tend the com­mit­tee meet­ings.

“We won­der whether she is not run­ning away from us as the portfolio com­mit­tee,” she said.

The IFP’S Themba Msi­mang said it was un­ac­cept­able the pair were not in at­ten­dance.

“In every is­sue, the buck stops at the door of the vice-chan­cel­lor,” he said.

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