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VUT vice-chancellor receives death threats over audit

BUKUTA NKUNA

VAAL University of Technology (VUT) Vice-Chancellor Prof Gordon Zide is alleged be receiving continual death threats after launching a forensic audit at the institution in a bid to curb corruption.  Zide was appointed on the 1st of May replacing Professor Irene Moutlana who was allegedly booted for corruption in 2012.

He sent out a circular in September indicating his intentions to probe allegations of corruption at the institution.  VUT spokesperson Mike Khuboni said Zide wanted to know whether the allegations of corruption were indeed true as he had been informed that it was rife.

“He wanted the forensic audit to come to the bottom of this so that he can get the complete picture of what is happening. He wrote a memo and communicated it to the university that he would be seeking approval from the council in order for him to go ahead with this so that he can make sure he knows exactly what he has actually inherited. Last week Monday (28th August) he received anonymous calls threatening his life,” said Khuboni.

THREATENED: VUT Vice Chancellor Professor Gordon Zide.

A case has since been opened and it is believed the threats are related to the investigation he wants to initiate.

“The matter has been reported to the local SAPS as of Tuesday 31 August 2017. At this stage we have not yet identified the cause of these intimidations, but we strongly suspect that the cause was as a result of the communication issued by the Vice-Chancellor informing the VUT community that he will be instituting a thorough forensic audit at the University. He has stated repeatedly in his address that he does not tolerate corruption and any person found to be wanting will be exposed to the disciplinary enquiry which will take its own course and action,” said Khuboni.

Zide in his resolute to go ahead with the probe wrote to the staff indicating he would not be deterred. He said he would stand for the consequences related to the investigations.

“If I have touched a raw nerve when calling for a forensic investigation and some colleagues are unhappy then it is not for me to condone their action, but the recommendations of the investigations will determine whether or not I am right,” Zide wrote to the university.

“I am writing this memo to all of you, not emotionally charged but disappointed that there can be people who could phone me anonymously and in the middle of the night and threaten me, but whatever their modus operandi is, I will continue with the work I have promised Council and the VUT community to execute.”

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