UKZN accused of hiding information in med school places-for-sale scandal

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Students have accused University of KwaZulu-Natal of keeping its own council and the Hawks investigators in the dark, regarding a KPMG report into the sale of places at its medical school.

The Sunday Tribune reports that the university’s council gathered for the first time since the Hawks arrested three suspects in May linked to a syndicate allegedly selling places at the institute. But the report quotes SRC president and fifth year medical student Noxolo Bhengu as saying that the meeting was fruitless because members left with nothing concrete, and the university was still hiding the R1.4m KPMG audit into corruption at the medical school from public view and from the SRC.

She said the vice-chancellor had eventually agreed to hand it over to the SRC, but she is still waiting to receive it.

Bhengu said what was also concerning was that the SRC had established that the university was being dishonest about the investigation, and had lied about handing over the forensic audit to police, as they had not done this.

The report says Hawks spokesperson Captain Simphiwe Mhlongo confirmed that the police were not in possession of the report. Bhengu also claimed that the SRC had information that the university was failing to co-operate with police and were not handing over other important information to help with the investigation. She said the SRC would take action once they had further information relating to this.

The report says a member of council, who asked not to be named, said the true extent of the corruption at the institute was now being revealed. “It all comes down to who they are trying to protect in this investigation and the answer to that is white supremacy. The entire medical school is operated by a white hierarchy. There was already evidence implicating certain individuals but no action was taken against them. We are asking why,” said the member.

He said for the university to move forward, it required transparency, and this was something that did not exist at the institute because there were too many “cover-ups” and people in power trying to protect each other.

Another member, Fanle Sibisi, said that if claims that the university was not co-operating with police were true, then the police had the support of convocation to subpoena the university.

The report says the university failed to respond to questions regarding the council meeting put to it. Instead, vice-chancellor Dr Albert Van Jaarsveld said: “We are committed to rooting out all corruption at the university but divulging further information at this stage will be prejudicial to the outcome of the investigation.”

Sunday Tribune report

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