Whistle-blowing hotline

2015 – part 1

At the beginning of February 2015, the Vice-Chancellor wrote to the UCT community about the KPMG whistle-blowing hotline. I write to update you about the cases that were reported through the hotline and have been finalised.

Following the VC Desk on the matter, there were a number of presentations made by KPMG and UCT staff to departments and key stakeholders including the trade unions, student leadership, financial aid managers, procurement specialists, finance managers and administrative staff. This was in line with the message from the Vice-Chancellor that there would be a communication and marketing campaign to promote the hotline. This will continue and presentations are planned at Faculty levels over the coming months.

We hope that sharing these outcomes will encourage staff, students and external parties that are or become aware of any unethical conduct to use the hotline to blow the whistle on corrupt practices. I wish to make a special plea that when phoning the hotline, as much as information as possible should be provided to allow for a proper investigation. Confidentiality and anonymity are guaranteed and no one is compelled to disclose their identity, so there is no risk to the caller. Should you require a presentation to be made to your department or identified group, please get in touch with Mr Shai Makgoba, Finance Executive: Risk and Relationship Management (021 650 2754) to arrange for a presentation on how the UCT whistle-blowing hotline operates.

Case 1

Complaint: that a staff member made unauthorised use of a UCT vehicle for private purposes

Outcome: Following an investigation, the staff member faced a disciplinary hearing, was found guilty and a sanction of a written warning valid for six months was issued.

Case 2

Complaint: that a staff member in a position of care for students was abusing his position by making passes at students and getting involved with them

Outcome: The allegation could not be substantiated. Should names be forwarded and the allegations have substance, formal disciplinary action would be considered.

Case 3

Complaint: That a staff member was sub-letting a UCT residence for personal financial benefit

Outcome: Following an investigation, no evidence of subletting accommodation was found. However, the staff member had allowed two students to "house sit" for the staff member during the absence of the staff member to live at the house for free, though taking charge of their own meals and the costs thereof. The students have since vacated the accommodation. A verbal warning was issued to the staff member for allowing persons who are not immediate family members to share the accommodation provided for him and his family.

Hugh Amoore
August 2015