Tshwane University of Technology's (TUT) Soshanguve North campus. File picture: Phill Magakoe

Johannesburg - The Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) is set for a grilling by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science and Technology over allegations of nepotism and abuse of power.

The institution’s management is expected to appear before the committee on Wednesday after it had failed to present itself on November 19. 

The non-attendance of the TUT management enraged the committee which consulted with the Office of the Speaker to summon the TUT council and management. 

The chairperson of the committee, Philly Mapulane, told the Sunday Independent that they wanted TUT management to respond to issues brought to their attention. 

“Allegations of corruption, maladministration, nepotism and abuse of power were brought to our attention by various stakeholders, hence our actions. We are ready to act on any other allegations against other universities,” said Mapulane.

This came after the National Education, Health And Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) wrote to the portfolio committee on October 16, 2019 alleging a litany of irregularities at the institution. 

In its letter to Mapulane dated October 16, the Nehawu TUT branch accused council chairperson Dr Bandile Masuku of being “a law unto himself” and of doing “as he pleases in the university.”

Masuku allegedly dismissed Veronica Motloutsi from the council for raising views about lack of gender equity in the university executive management. The union also believes that its former Nehawu branch chairperson, Gugulethu Xaba, has been suspended by the university for his stance against maladministration.

In addition, Nehawu has demanded that the university absorb security workers as it believes that some members of the executive management team benefited from private companies contracted to render security services on campus. 

TUT spokesperson Willa de Ruyter said the university was in the process of preparing for its appearance before the parliamentary portfolio committee. She declined to respond to specific questions or comment further. 

“Your questions are very specific and we would not want to cloud the outcome of the hearing by responding to them ahead of the hearing,” De Ruyter said.

Sunday Independent