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.