The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] calls on the Council of the University of South Africa [UNISA] to suspend the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Lenka Bula following the appointment of an independent assessor to conduct an investigation into the affairs of the institution.
Our call for the council to suspend the VC is informed by the fact that the independent assessor is tasked to investigate the VC on matters of misconduct and mismanagement and as such she must be placed on suspension to allow the assessor to undertake the investigation freely and without any interference from the VC.
The VC had directly created instability in the institution with her high-handed management of the university which has led to mismanagement, collapse of cordial relations, maladministration in the institution, undermining the collective bargaining, disregarding labour laws and authoritarian management including union bashing, victimisation, harassment, intimidation of employees and violation of recruitment policies.
Since her appointment, the VC has been embroiled in disreputable conduct in the institution ranging amongst others from disregarding bargaining processes where she awarded a handful of staff members salary increments outside the UNISA Bargaining Forum (UBF), disregarding labour laws after she terminated employment contracts of our five shopstewards, undermining recruitment and selection processes of the institution by appointing people in her office without any advertisement and selection processes.
As NEHAWU, we call on the council to move with speed in placing the VC on suspension in order to give space to the independent assessor to conduct the investigation as per the Ministerial Directive which amongst others entails investigating the functioning and efficacy of the University’s governance and management structures, including its assurance and compliance functions and also the circumstances and reasons for the significant number of staff suspensions, disciplinary cases, and dismissals at the University since 2018.
Lastly, as NEHAWU, we hold a strong view that the investigation by the Independent Assessor to be free from interference hence the VC should be suspended immediately as she has played a major role in creating the crisis in the institution.
Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat
Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968; December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969; Lwazi Nkolonzi (NEHAWU National Spokesperson) at 081 558 2335 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org