Please allow me a space in your newspaper to make some corrections to an article in New Era newspaper recently, titled “Appointment of interim VP (sic) at Nust ruffle feathers.”
The decision to appoint a new acting Vice-Chancellor at Nust was not made by the council of the Namibian University of Science and Technology. Information contained in the minutes of special meeting of management committee of Nust Council held on 19th of March 2019, attended by Adv. Esi Schimming-Chase, Goms Menetté and Samuel Januarie indicates that Mr Morné Du Toit will be appointed subject to successful completion of his probation period and provided that no concerns or pending disciplinary action has been brought against him.
The minutes indicate that all three Deputy Vice- Chancellors at Nust had expressed their availability and interest to serve as acting Vice-Chancellor until the position is substantially filled. The members of the committee discussed and decided that the acting Vice-Chancellor be appointed for a period of one year or until the position is substantially filled due to the complexity of the recruitment process. The minutes also indicate that all three Deputy Vice-Chancellors submitted their CVs to the management committee to be considered to serve as acting Vice-Chancellor.
Morné Du Toit was recommended for the position by Samuel January based on his financial and university administrative experience, Dr Andrew Niikondo was recommended by Goms Menetté, arguing that he is a Namibian, has been at the university for some time and that he understands the dynamic of the university and should be able to lead the it until a substantive Vice-Chancellor is appointed.
The minutes also indicate that a casting vote was made by the chairperson Adv. Esi Schmming-Chase to appoint Du Toit as acting Vice-Chancellor, reasoning that Du Toit would be the best candidate to serve as acting Vice-Chancellor for a period of one year or until the position is substantially filled, basing her argument on the current climate of Namibia with contracting economy and financial hardship faced by the institutions across the country. After a long discussion, a final decision was made to appoint Du Toit for a period of one year or until the position is substantially filled and recommended that a designated understudy be considered and given empowerment to act in the position Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Administration and
Finance, the current position of Du Toit.
The Nust council did not delegate any power to any committee to make appointments. Therefore, the Namibia nation should understand that Nust council did not appoint Du Toit as acting Vice-Chancellor. This appointment was done by the members of management committee of council (Adv. Esi Schimming-Chase, Goms Menetté and Samuel Januarie) in violation of the Namibia University of Science and Technology Act, 2015.
-The Cuban, Windhoek