Publication: Independent Online
Reporter: Noelene Barbeau
: Prof Puts on Brave Face
Sarp Adali, the Turkish-born academic who co-supervised and acted as internal
examiner for Chippy Shaik's controversial doctorate thesis, sounded positive after the first few days of his
disciplinary hearing this week.
In 2003 Shaik was awarded his doctorate
at the then University of Natal (now University of KwaZulu-Natal). But he was
recently accused of plagiarising his doctoral thesis, which was supervised by
Professor Viktor Verijenko, head of the school of mechanical
It was also claimed that Shaik's 217-page mechanical
engineering thesis was fundamentally flawed, with
incorrect calculations and spelling errors.
Shortly after the allegations
came to light, Adali denied the claims, saying Shaik's thesis was above board,
with the majority of its content taken from conference and journal papers Shaik
Verijenko, in Australia on sabbatical at the time, has since
resigned and Shaik has denied all the allegations.
Shaik was the
government's former arms procurement chief, and played a key role in sourcing
suppliers for the controversial R65-billion arms deal.
Adali, former head
of the school of mechanical engineering and now a senior member of staff,
pleaded not guilty to misconduct charges at the hearing this
Speaking to the Tribune on Friday, he said the internal hearing had been adjourned to
a date still to be set.
Adali and Verijenko are also accused of
misconduct in connection with a R2,4-million contract Verijenko was awarded by
Spoornet in his private capacity. A lawyer's letter, from the university, has
been sent to both.
Adali said Verijenko used and returned university
funds and also used about R1-million from Spoornet funds to build a laboratory
at the school. A university source claimed Adali had shares in Verijenko's
private company, which he denied.
In a separate dispute, the former chief
financial officer at UKZN, Prof Kanthan Pillay, said his hearing resumed this
weekend and should reach a favourable conclusion.
Pillay was dismissed
and reinstated after the findings of the Magid Tribunal. After receiving an
anonymous email, the university's vice-chancellor, Prof Malegapuru Makgoba,
called for an investigation into the awarding of a Master of Commerce degree to
It was alleged that Pillay and the Dean of Management Studies,
Prof Pumela Msweli-Mbanga had had an affair. She was the co-supervisor for
Msweli-Mbanga filed sexual harassment claims
against Makgoba and the university's council chairperson, Dr Vincent Maphai -
charges found to be baseless. And she took UKZN to the CCMA after it accepted
her resignation, which she said she had revoked.
Details of the
settlement are still being finalised. Her attorney, Jay Reddy, said the matter
was settled in her favour. "The university accepted that her earlier resignation
did not hold. She then resigned at the end of June," he said.
article was originally published on page 4 of Tribune on July 15,
With acknowledgements to Noelene
and Independent Online.
*1 It is logically challenging to
reconcile "sounding positive" and "putting on a brave face".