The University of Zululand has blamed “mafia tendencies” among its own staff for the death of its arts faculty dean, Gregory Kamwendo.
Kamwendo was killed in May, but recent media stories have alleged that he died in an apparent assassination for uncovering a Unizulu syndicate that awarded fraudulent PhDs.
The Sowetan newspaper this week cited an anonymous source claiming that a Unizulu lecturer allegedly hired a hitman to kill Kamwendo to stop the latter lifting the lid on the corruption scheme which involved three staff members.
The university has rejected the media reports. “We have noted with shock that the speculations and pre-emptive arguments are widespread on the motive of the murder,” a statement read.
However, the university did not completely deny dodgy dealings surrounding certain PhDs, but rather said that the university management took issue with the quality of some degrees.
“It became clear in certain instances that some of the presented dissertations and theses had procedural and quality shortcomings,” the statement read.
The university instituted disciplinary proceedings against implicated supervisors and staff members, which it alleges have “connections in higher places”. It is these staff members that the management blames for “undermining the leadership through mafia tendencies”, and for Kamwendo’s death.
No details of the ongoing police investigation have yet been released.