CUT welcomes its newest professor

From left to right: Nemutshili Mili, CUT Director: Financial Operations; Prof David Ngidi, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning; Prof Tryna Van Niekerk, Newly promoted Professor; Prof Pamela Dube, Vice-Chancellor and Principal; Prof Alfred Ngowi, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research Innovation and Engagement and Prof Albert Strydom, Dean of Management Sciences. PHOTO: Supplied

On Friday 2 June, the Central University of Technology (CUT) in Bloemfontein welcomed Prof. Tryna van Niekerk into their fold. Prof. Van Niekerk was inducted by the university as a full professor, an award reserved for highly accomplished academics, at the Inaugural Professorial Lecture.

“This occasion is to honour and celebrate academics for their excellent work, achievements, and prowess as researchers of note in their respective fields,” Prof. Pamela Dube, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, stated in her address.

Prof. Van Niekerk is an expert in Government Management and is the Head of the Government Management Department in the Faculty of Management Sciences. She has many years of experience and holds several distinguished qualifications, including a Ph.D. in Public Management, obtained at the CUT. Her inaugural address, titled “Ethics, Oversight, and Accountability: Efficacy and Failure”, takes a descriptive and analytical approach to provide insight into the efficacy of accountability in the South African public sector.

Prof. Van Niekerk explained that the practice of ethics is increasingly being challenged in state capture, state corruption, and unethical conduct. “South Africa has a plethora of statutory and regulatory frameworks, as well as Codes of Conduct, aimed at holding public and elected officials accountable. But, unfortunately, these rules and Codes of Conduct are frequently disregarded, with little or no repercussions for wrongdoers,” she stated.

Her address argued that if top political leaders of government do not account for transgressions, an environment susceptible to fraud, corruption, and state capture will thrive, and went on to say, “effective oversight and consequence management are needed to improve accountability for a sustainable impact on service delivery,” before concluding that “if top political leaders and top executives ignore constitutional and other legislative prescripts, subordinates in all spheres of government tend to get involved in unethical practices such as corruption, fraud, and money laundering.”

Compiled by Warren Hawkins