Pretoria – The University of SA (UNISA) has finally responded to the damning report of poor governance and possible corruption saying it “was still processing the report and preparing an official response”.
The Council of UNISA on Friday said it has noted the publics interest in the state of the university since the release of the report of the Independent Assessor into the affairs of Unisa on Friday, 12 May 2023.
Allegations in the report included that Vice-Chancellor Professor Puleng LenkaBula squandered more than R285 000 of UNISAs money on curtains for her official residence, R600 000 for flooring, and R8 000 for training on how to use a vacuum cleaner.
The professor also allegedly bought a sleek Mercedes Benz for about R2 million.
The Council said: “The allegations made against any of the officials of the university, will be tested through relevant internal processes designed for such purposes or through the legal systems of our country”.
Just days after the report was released, the National Education, Health, and Allied Workers Union demanded “immediate action”.
However, more than two weeks after the allegations became public, UNISA said it was “still processing the report and preparing an official response”.
While the Council admitted that the university “has serious governance and operational challenges” it, however, said the institution was “far from collapsing or being a university in chaos”.
The Council insisted that it was committed to the principles and values of good governance and the rule of law.
“Consistent with this commitment, the university will prepare a comprehensive response to the Report in the next coming days,” the Council said.
“Council wishes to confirm that the fundamentals that inform and constitute the university remain intact and these are: learning, teaching, research, and engaged scholarship.”
The Council pointed to the Times Higher Impact Ranking 2022 results.
UNISA achieved an overall score of 68 out of 100 placing the university in the top half globally in the ?401-600? band out of 1 406 ranked universities worldwide.
In the same year, UNISA won the Zairi International Award for Research Impact. Over 90 nominations from 31 countries were submitted.
“Further, the universitys financial viability remains strong, and its quality assurance systems are rigorous and confirmed by both local and international quality assurance authorities in the public sector and industry,” the Council said.
“In the view of Council, this important African asset which celebrates 150 years this year, remains an academic institution that meets national and global quality assurance standards and remains viable administratively and operationally.
“Once more, the university wishes to appeal for patience and cooperation as it prepares a comprehensive response to the Assessors Report.
“Unisa will respond to all the matters with facts and verifiable performance and related data.”