South Africa: University of Limpopo Suspends Council Member for 'Campaign Against Vice-Chancellor'

The University of Limpopo has suspended a council member amid claims that he 'campaigned' for the removal of the 70-year-old vice-chancellor, who has been at the helm since 2006.

The University of Limpopo has suspended genetics lecturer Zolani Simayi from council activities for allegedly "campaigning" for the removal of 70-year-old university vice-chancellor and principal, Prof Mahlo Mokgalong.

Simayi, who has taught at the university for more than 10 years, was suspended by council chairperson Pandelani Nefolovhodwe before the start of a council meeting on 24 November 2023.

According to the university website, Mokgalong has occupied the vice-chancellor position since 2006. His term of office was due to end after the 2023 academic year.

However, a source said the council decided to extend his term for another two years.

The source said there had been "heated" discussions within the university community about the process to recruit a new vice-chancellor and principal.

This, the source said, was after the university advertised Mokgalong's post in April. The council had claimed that the applicants were not appointable despite their being academics, some of whom had previously served in the same position at other universities.

"They further claimed that they even failed to get a suitable vice-chancellor through headhunting," the source said.

This led to the council resolving to extend Mokgalong's term by two years.

Extension of term

According to the university statute signed...

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