South Africa 8.5.2018 01:01 pm

Unisa professor denies bullying staff, says colleagues want to tarnish his image

Professor Peter Havenga (seated) has been accused of making the working environment intolerable for black women in his department. Picture: ANA

Professor Peter Havenga (seated) has been accused of making the working environment intolerable for black women in his department. Picture: ANA

Havenga has denied all allegations leveled against him, saying he is being targeted because he is principled and speaks his mind.

Academic planning executive director at the University of South Africa (Unisa), Professor Peter Havenga, who has been accused of making the working environment intolerable for black women in his department, told the South African Human Rights Commission the allegations were attempts to tarnish his reputation.

Havenga made his written submissions to the investigation panel on Tuesday.

It was the final leg of the hearing since it started on February 20 following a request from Unisa vice-chancellor Prof Mandla Makhanya to investigate allegations of unfair discrimination, racism, sexism and harassment at the institution’s College of Law.

Havenga accused the director at the directorate of academic planning, accreditation and registration, Alice Mkuzangwe of unfair labour practice, bullying and victimising her staff, insubordination, duty negligence, fraud and corruption.

Havenga said he didn’t target Mkuzangwe and had in fact supported her when she started working at the university.

He explained that their relationship soured at the end of 2015 when he started hearing unpleasant reports from subordinates.

He denied all allegations leveled against him and said he was being targeted because he is principled and speaks his mind.

“I can be accused of anything but I will never be accused of being unprincipled.”

Staff members, interested parties and the Unisa management, are expected to present their oral testimonies to the panel.

The hearings will run until Thursday.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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