The Department of Higher Education and Training has suspended two officials at the head office in Pretoria following a leaked audio recording of Minister Blade Nzimande addressing his communication staff in a meeting.
The department’s Director-General, Dr Nkosinathi Sishi, said the department has noted with extreme disappointment the recent articles in the media.
Sishi said given the seriousness of the matter, the department immediately conducted an internal investigation, which has led to the suspension of two officials.
He has warned officials against wrongdoing, to act responsibly in their line of work and to familiarise themselves with the “code of ethical conduct in government”.
“The code of conduct for public servants demands of government employees to not use or disclose any official information for personal gain or the gain of others.
“It is against this background that the department has acted swiftly and continues with its internal investigations while the two officials remain on suspension,” Sishi said.
The matter is also with the South African Police Service for further investigations.
Investigation into UNISA’s affairs
Meanwhile, Nzimande said an investigation report into allegations of misconduct and maladministration at the University of South Africa (UNISA) has been completed and he is in the process of publishing it in the Government Gazette.
“I have provided a copy of the report to the council of the university. I am in the process of publishing it in the Government Gazette, expected to be issued in due course.
“Upon such publication, I will be submitting the report to the Speaker [of the National Assembly] Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula for tabling before the National Assembly. I am currently studying the report and will contemplate the way forward regarding the implementation of the recommendations after due process, as guided by the prescripts of the Act [Section 47(2) of the Higher Education Act, No. 101 of 1997],” Nzimande said.
Nzimande thanked Professor Themba Mosia, who was appointed as the Independent Assessor to conduct the investigation.
“I wish to also express my appreciation to the entire university community for their co-operation with the investigation. I thank all stakeholders who made presentations to the Independent Assessor, and all who cooperated with the Independent Assessor to ensure that the investigation was done and concluded successfully,” the Minister said. – SAnews.gov.za
Source: South African Government News Agency