Former Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) vice-chancellor, Professor Johnny Molefe, has won his labour dispute against the varsity.
Molefe was removed as TUT vice-chancellor last year.
His appointment by the then University Council caused controversy as his doctorate was apparently from an unaccredited Caribbean university.
The university was placed under the administration of Professor Themba Mosia, who immediately removed Molefe as vice-chancellor and dismissed him.
The Council for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) has now ruled in favour of Molefe, declaring his dismissal proce-durally and substantively unfair. But he will not be reinstated to his R2.4 million-a-year job as vice-chancellor.
He would be re-employed in his previous position as TUT’s deputy vice-chancellor for institutional planning and operations.
The CCMA said it could not interfere with Mosia’s decision to remove Molefe as vice-chancellor, but could interfere in his outright dismissal from the university.
Molefe had not been found guilty of any misconduct to justify a dismissal, it said. Therefore it ruled he be reinstated to his old job or an equivalent position. But the CCMA did not leave Molefe totally off the hook, claiming he had been less than honest about his qualifications in his interaction with TUT.
It also noted that Molefe had admitted in arbitration that before he was appointed by TUT, his doctorate was not accredited by the SA Qualifications Authority (Saqa).
The CCMA said Molefe had not come to arbitration with “clean hands”.
His contention that he did not know that his doctorate was invalid was dismissed outright by the CCMA.
“The respondent (TUT) had set a standard for the position of vice-chancellor, and required any successful applicant to hold a doctorate, which if obtained in a foreign country, must be Saqa-accredited.
“The applicant applied for this position, claiming to have an accredited doctorate. What followed thereafter, is quite a mess,” it said.
Mosia had failed to provide any grounds for dismissal in relation to Molefe’s previous job, the CCMA said.
Owing to Mosia’s failure to institute disciplinary hearings against Molefe, he remained innocent of any wrongdoing unless the contrary was proven.
The CCMA also said that Molefe had wanted to be reinstated as vice-chancellor and maintained he was the “right person for the job”.
Molefe could not be reached for comment on Monday.
TUT spokeswoman Willa de Ruyter said the university would not comment until after it had met the Department of Higher Education and Training.
Its director-general, Gwebs Qonde, said the university would have to deal with the matter by itself and communicate its decisions to the department.
“We should give them time to deal with the matter because there is management at the institution.
“They are scheduled to meet with the department soon and I’m sure they will deal with the matter accordingly,” said Qonde.