Management exodus at NUST

By Tracy Tafirenyika

THE Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) is stuck in management murky waters, with resignations flying left, right and centre from top administrators.

This week, Morné Du Toit resigned from his position as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Administration and Finance while Jordaania Andima who was Nust’s acting spokesperson also resigned from her acting position and went back to her old position.

Confidente understands that recently the Nust registrar also gave notice of his resignation from the institution and in addition the Dean of Computing Anicia Peteralso resigned and went to join the University of Namibia.

Speaking to Confidente Du Toit explained the reasons that led to his resignation:

“Yes it is true that l have resigned from Nust. It was just a lot of things that have been happening and l needed to give myself personal space, because work things were intervening with my personal issues.

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Nust acting vice chancellor Andrew Niikondo explained that, although he was aware of Du Toit’s resignation he was not privy to reasons behind the move.

“Du Toit just resigned and l myself do not know the reason why he resigned because it is just a notice that he gave to us and we do not know why. His position is not yet occupied.

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It is for the council to decide what will happen with that position when the final stage comes.

Speaking to various staff members at Nust -who prefer to remain anonymous- in order to get an insight of the whole situation, the sources highlighted that there is a witch-hunt going on at the institution.

“All this has happened since Niikondo recently was appointed acting vice chancellor and the Nust legal advisor began attending the executive management committee meetings. These new people brought a lot of changes to the institution which everybody cannot handle. They make decisions on their own without consulting us and expect us to do work in a short period of time. Niikondo appointed his special advisor without consulting anyone. What was so special about him?

“Salaries are being delayed for the past four months now and we are frustrated because there is no valid reason that explains all these delays for the salaries. They just say there is no money. If the institution did not want to hire foreigners why do they sideline locals for these positions? Now these people are just resigning,” said one source.

Another source shared the same sentiment saying that he is also shocked about Du Toit’s resignation and the whole situation that has been prevailing at Nust.

“I am surprised about this whole issue and what could have led him to resign because Du Toit is known to be quiet and only vocal at council meetings most notably when the council dissolved the Code of Conduct and its committee. Du Toit has also in the past accused the Council Chair of victimisation to the extent of submitting legal letters to council, a matter which remains unresolved to date,” the source explained.

In his defence to allegations by the sources, Niikondo said: “I do not know why people are resigning. Their salaries are also not being delayed; if that is true they can only take that to labour.

“The issue of sidelining locals is something that is not possible because l was not part of the recruitment as at that time l was not yet in the position that l am today. The special advisor that was appointed … it was not an appointment but a secondment,” he said.