Publication: Independent Online
Reporter: Amelia Naidoo
Reporter: Greg Arde
Chippy Shaik Dares UKZN to Prove Claims
Shaik has asked the University of KwaZulu-Natal to provide him with a prima
facie case that he plagiarised his mechanical engineering
Yunus Shaik, Chippy's brother and attorney, said the former
Fulbright scholar had learnt about the plagiarism
allegations in the newspaper *1 at the weekend.
"Chippy is the author of the papers he is supposed to have
plagiarised *2. We've approached the university to give us all the
evidence it has gathered. We'd like to know who did the investigation, when they
did it and what information was put before the investigator."
the university had not responded to his demand for the
"We take issue with their process.
Chippy was never given an opportunity to confront the allegation. *3 The
result is that he has already been found guilty in a process that he is
blissfully unaware of and now he has to defend his reputation."
maintains the funding his brother received was a bona fide research
Yesterday, Shaik's former professor, Viktor Verijenko, sent an
e-mail to colleagues at the university slating allegations that he had conspired
with Chippy in plagiarising. He resigned from the institution on
He described the initial Sunday Times report on the matter as
"defamatory and no more than a vulgar attempt to embarrass me and my esteemed
colleague, as well as smear the name of my ex-student, "Shamim'
Verijenko said senior staff within the
university had leaked information to the press *4 with no regard for the
rights of the people involved or the damage caused to the university name. Politics, he said, was behind the smear campaign against him.
*5 The academic also said he had been harassed by authorities and some
circles within the university during the past two years.
criticised the university's management for using internal processes to give
credence to the untested allegations.
There was no specific allegation,
or hard evidence to substantiate the claims of plagiarism, collusion or any
improper relationships with Chippy, argued Verijenko.
Chippy was entitled
to use the articles in his thesis as co-author.
It was unfortunate, he
said, that the university had reported that there was "foundation" to the
allegations. "Who and by what means was this 'foundation'
Fellow academic Richard Young's
complaints were also rubbished as a serious insult to the academic integrity of
the university. *6
"How can Young review a thesis and rubbish it
with the assistance of our staff? Are the professors of the university not the
appropriate people to evaluate a thesis?" he asked.
He further argued
that Young was not a specialist in the area Chippy had studied.
professor who had investigated Chippy's apparently plagiarised thesis had a
"well-documented acrimonious relationship" with Verijenko, the academic
He said the professor was in the same field as
Young and they knew each other well. *7
Verijenko has requested
that all information pertaining to his disciplinary inquiry be sent to his
attorneys, but said he had received no correspondence from (sic) to
Because of recent tragic events related to the professor's family,
he had decided they would spend more time abroad than originally planned. This
had reinforced his original decision to resign in January, he said.
article was originally published on page 3 of The Mercury on May 23, 2007
With acknowledgements to Greg Arde,
Amelia Naidoo and Independent Online.
*1 This us a lie. The newspaper had
a meeting with Chippy Shaik's appointed representative at 14:00 on Friday 18 May
2007, where the nature of the allegations were explained and a right of reply
offered. This right of reply was taken up and Yunis Shaik furnished the Sunday
Times with an extensive response on Saturday 19 May 2007. This was even
published on the Sunday Times website very early on Sunday morning at the same
time as the published story.
*2 Second lie. The
allegation is that Chippy copied this paper into his thesis, but still declared
that the thesis was his owned unaided work. The plagiarised material is derived
from at least another five journal papers where Shaik is not an
*3 There is nothing wrong with the UKZN's
process. It is a two-part process. The first establishes the prima facie
position and indictment, the second part is the tribunal. The second part is
*4 Wrong - an outside agent and the
press furnished senior staff within the university with information related to a
*5 Wrong again - academic
standards, integrity and credibility are the only motives of the outside agency.
These plus the objective to sell newspapers by publishing the truth in the
public interest are the motives of any
*6 Now what is the meaning of
*7 Absolute bull manure.