COSATU in Gauteng calls for precautionary suspension of the UNISA Vice Chancellor

Since the beginning of the 2022 academic year, the Congress of South African Trade Unions in Gauteng has been observing negative media reports on the University of South Africa(UNISA) and its Vice Chancellor, Professor Puleng LenkaBula.  For approximately three months now, the university has been marred by labour related disputes and unrest. Media houses as well as our affiliate, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union(Nehawu),has exposed distasteful practices which suggest poor management, maladministration and alleged authoritarian management by the Vice Chancellor.

Recently, The Star Newspaper reported that Prof. LenkaBula was irregularly appointed as she failed to meet the criteria and requirements for the post. Media reports of this nature and others similar, compromise the image of the university. COSATU calls for those who were involved in the recruitment and selection process to be held accountable. Additionally, it is reported that she also appointed Mr David Maimele as her political advisor. This is an unfamiliar practice in the higher education sector. Judging from these developments, the management of the university is clearly collapsing since the appointment of Prof. LenkaBula in 2021.

Whilst COSATU welcomes the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Dr Blade Nzimande’s recent appointment of an independent accessor to conduct an investigation into the affairs of the institution, the Vice Chancellor should be put on precautionary suspension until the investigations are concluded. This should be done as a matter of urgency to avoid any further damage to the institution’s reputation and credibility.

Issued by COSATU Gauteng

Provincial Secretary: Louisa Modikwe – 066 182 2402

Provincial Chairperson: Amos Monyela – 079 493 5002