The University of South Africa (Unisa) released a statement today (5 December 2014), saying that SABC chair Ellen Tshabalala never completed or graduated with qualifications that she registered for with Unisa and its School of Business Leadership.
This statement followed Tshabalala’s comments that she attained a qualification in 1996, and that the records of Unisa were “not my records”.
“Unisa are having a myriad of record problems… It’s on their website,” Tshabalala said on Friday.
Tshabalala also said that she would provide her qualification when the matter went to court.
Unisa hit back, saying that Tshabalala did not have a Unisa qualification, and that their systems are secure and reliable.
The full statement from Unisa is provided below:
Unisa response to statements attributed to Ms Ellen Tshabalala
The University of South Africa (Unisa) has duly noted the statements attributed to Ms Ellen Tshabalala, the Board Chairperson of the South African Broadcasting Corporation, in relation to her perceived view of Unisa’s role in the matter regarding her ‘alleged’ qualifications from the university.
We wish to place it on record that we have no vested interest in this matter and that, from the outset, our handling of all requests to disclose our records in relation to Ms. Tshabalala has been above board, within the prescripts of the law and our own policies; as well as consistent with how we deal with requests for disclosure of information related to all our students and alumni.
The university did not at any stage disclose or order the disclosure of Ms Tshabalala’s academic records to any party except those to whom we were legally obliged to, including Ms Tshabalala’s lawyers, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications as well as the legal department of Media24, who were granted access in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act.
The university’s position provided in all instances, and which the university still affirms, is that in terms of our records, Ms Tshabalala never completed or graduated with qualifications that she registered for with Unisa and its School of Business Leadership on three different occasions.
We have the utmost confidence in the integrity of our academic record system, which we believe to be secure, reliable and not easily prone to manipulation.
We can also state categorically that we have not received any notice by Ms Tshabalala to pursue legal action against the university or Mr Jan Van Wyk of our Legal Department.
It is our considered view that as a university, we have done whatever we were legally obliged to do in relation to this matter and regard this matter now closed.