Unisa denies 'desperate' letter to Nzimande, probes bribery claims

Unisa denies 'desperate' letter to Nzimande, probes bribery claims

The University of South Africa has vehemently denied claims in the media that it wrote to Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande to plead with him not to place the institution under administration.

Unisa HQ
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This follows a court ruling last year stopping Nzimande from acting on an independent assessor’s report which flagged alleged corruption and maladministration at the university.

At a Wednesday press briefing to address this and other administrative issues plaguing the institution, acting vice principal for institutional development Professor Ramogoai Magano, said it was Nzimande's lawyers who wrote to Unisa proposing an out-of-court settlement.

“Unisa never wrote such a letter to the minister. We can, however, confirm that discussions did take place between the lawyers of minister [Nzimande] and the university at their behest of the minister’s lawyers, and during which meeting a proposal for an out-of-court settlement was made to the university.

“This was followed up with a formal letter to the university tabling the proposal. The university decided that it is both in the university and minister’s interest that the Independent Assessor’s report be adjudicated by the judiciary,” explained Magano.

Late last year, Nzimande withdrew a gazette notice seeking to place the university under administration following the assessor’s report.


Magano said they view recent reports of the institution’s acting chief financial officer soliciting and receiving bribes in a serious light.

Claims a whistleblower alerted Unisa’s management to the alleged clandestine conduct of Dr Reshma Mathura emerged in the media earlier this month.

Unisa said its instituted an internal investigation, the outcome of which will inform the next steps to be taken

Muthara has denied any wrongdoing.


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