A staff member at the University of Venda (Univen) has been suspended for allegedly soliciting bribes from prospective students in exchange for admission.
The suspension was imposed after a student used social media to expose messages from a person claiming to work for the university.
The staff member mentioned that they had the student’s personal information and could expedite their placement for an R3,500 fee.
According to Univen spokesperson Takalani Dzaga, the said staff member was identified and suspended pending disciplinary action.
“Serious measures will be taken against any staff members who are found to be involved in this kind of unethical behaviour that brings the name of the university into disrepute.”
Dzaga indicated that the university continues to caution and advise employees to conduct themselves ethically and to avoid bribery and corruption.
“The university management is committed to root out any corrupt activities within the university,” he said.
The staff member implicated here has been suspended today, and the university will further probe whether there are more people involved in this SCAM and any other SUCH matters. I’m told they’ve also contacted you and are trying to help with your application. All the best!! https://t.co/amaN5egXKP
— Buti Manamela (@ButiManamela) February 9, 2023
According to TimesLive the prospective student said she fears for her life because the staff member has access to her personal information.
She claimed she was approached shortly after applying for a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE).
“A few minutes later I got a text from an unknown person saying that if I pay them they will fast-track my admission,” she said.
She stated that she no longer felt safe because her information, including the information of her next-of-kin, was accessible.
She asserted that the accused employee asked her to remove a screenshot of their exchange from social media.
Univen has earlier noted that they are aware of individuals seeking bribes from parents and prospective students in order to gain admission to the university.