Unisa speaks on Gugu Ncube’s n#due demonstration

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    The University of South Africa (Unisa) said it was greatly concerned about Gugulethu Ncube’s protest at the Union Buildings on Wednesday, claiming she was not dragging the university’s name into her sexual harassment allegations for the first time.

    The university insists she was never its employee and that her grievance is between her and a previously sponsored external company. The university said the matter was between her and Unisa Centre for Early Childhood Education (UCECE), an external company that was previously sponsored by Unisa.

    Unisa principal and vice-chancellor Professor Mandla Makhanya said in a statement:”Unisa’s main concern is that it is not for the first time that Ms Ncube continues to misconstrue this matter and attempt to drag its name into the dispute between herself and UCECE regarding her termination of employment; despite repeated attempts by the university to clarify that UCECE is an independent entity established in terms of the Trust Property Control Act; and thus operates autonomously, including entering into and terminating employment relationships. Accordingly, Ms Ncube was never an employee of Unisa.

    The University of South Africa (Unisa) said it was greatly concerned about Gugulethu Ncube’s protest at the Union Buildings on Wednesday, claiming she was not dragging the university’s name into her sexual harassment allegations for the first time.

    The university insists she was never its employee and that her grievance is between her and a previously sponsored external company. The university said the matter was between her and Unisa Centre for Early Childhood Education (UCECE), an external company that was previously sponsored by Unisa.

    Unisa principal and vice-chancellor Professor Mandla Makhanya said in a statement:”Unisa’s main concern is that it is not for the first time that Ms Ncube continues to misconstrue this matter and attempt to drag its name into the dispute between herself and UCECE regarding her termination of employment; despite repeated attempts by the university to clarify that UCECE is an independent entity established in terms of the Trust Property Control Act; and thus operates autonomously, including entering into and terminating employment relationships. Accordingly, Ms Ncube was never an employee of Unisa.

    “It is regrettable that Ms Ncube is persisting with her action of dragging the name of Unisa into her dispute with UCECE and in the process bringing our name into disrepute. While we respect her right to fight for what she believes is unfair treatment towards her, we appeal to her to desist from her actions; and that the name of the university should not be dragged into this matter as it is solely between herself and UCECE.”

    The university further said it followed due processes regarding Ncube’s sexual harassment complaint in 2018 and suspended its staff members who were accused of the crime. The accused were board members at UCECE at the time.

    Counselling was also offered to Ncube, it claimed. However, the university said it could not charge the accused because there was “no basis” to charge them concerned with the alleged offences.

    Ncube, the daughter of prominent Zimbabwean politician Welshman Ncube, was arrested outside the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Wednesday after she had staged a nude protest. She had said she was protesting naked because “nudity is a sign of my dignity that I have been stripped of”.

    She had accused Makhanya of “throwing her out like a rotten pig” when she complained to him about the sexual harassment she suffered allegedly at the hands of a staff member.

    “I tried engaging the Unisa vice-chancellor Professor Makhanya. He threw me out like a rotten pig. I have tried sending the president emails, everybody around the president. They keep on not taking my message to the president. Dear United Nations, please intervene. I’m a victim of sexual harassment at Unisa. They claim I have resigned, I never resigned. They chased me away from work,” she said.

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