The Central University of Technology (CUT) in Bloemfontein has welcomed forensic investigations into its finances by the Auditor-General.
The decision was taken by the parliamentary portofolio committee on higher education and training after visiting the CUT last week. Committee chairperson Ishmael Malale said the decision was based on two inconclusive reports on the CUT’s finances. “We have some sort of reports that purport to be the reports of KPMG and Advocate Lubbe, which on their face suggest that there are matters that require clinical investigations,” said Malale.
In August this year Bloemfontein high court judge John Daffue set aside higher education minister Blade Nzimande’s decision to place the CUT under administration. The high court found that although the minister followed correct procedures he placed too much emphasis on the report compiled by the assessor Julian Smith. It was found that the minister did not take into account CUT council’s response to the assessor’s report. The assessor had recommended that the council of CUT be dissolved, the principal be placed on special leave and the administrator be appointed. The minister is appealing that ruling.
Malale said the recent decision by the committee was not related to the pending legal case between the minister and CUT. Meanwhile, CUT principal Thandwa Mthembu said he is confident the AG’s investigation will yield yet another unqualified audit. “Albeit the rumours of maladministration and financial mismanagement, the university has never been in a more firm and stable financial state,” said Mthembu in a statement. “CUT is proud of its legacy of unqualified audits over the years. We will work closely with the Portfolio Committee and provide the Auditor General with all the necessary support and documentation requested so that the matter can finally be laid to rest.”