The office of the Vice-Chancellor and Principal has received emails from unidentifiable sources containing allegations that the University would like to attend to. These emails make generalised accusations of contraventions of University policies which could be detrimental to the persons against whom they are made. The anonymous and generalised nature of the allegations make it difficult for the University to take action on what may be genuine transgressions of the University policies.
This communique serves to outline to all employees the applicable University processes and policies that may be used by any person who may know of or have witnessed acts of misconduct or impropriety, to report such conduct. The reporting mechanism offers complete confidentiality and protection of those reporting incidents whilst protecting innocent parties against wrongful accusations.
The University provides a formal grievance procedure to enable staff members to raise grievances relating to their employment. In cases where the complaint is not related to employment, The UP Ethics Hotline provides an independent mechanism to staff, students, suppliers and members of the public to report cases of suspected fraud, corruption, irregularities and unethical behaviour affecting the University or its entities.
The following reporting channels are available to the complainants:
- A toll-free telephone number: 0800 227 007
- A fax number: 086 510 4291
- A secure email address: [email protected]
- A free-post address: JHZ 1815, Helderkruin, 1733
In addition, complaints may be submitted to the Unit for Internal Audit at [email protected].
All complaints received from whistle-blowers are dealt with in terms of the Protected Disclosures Act (as amended) and the UP Whistle-blowers Policy. Whistle-blowers have a right to remain anonymous and to be protected from reprisal. It should however, be noted that making malicious allegations is prohibited.
It is important to note that the Whistle-blowers Policy provides for protection of anonymity where this is requested and the reporting process protects both the complainant and the alleged perpetrator.
Alternatively, employees may follow the process established in terms of the UP HR Grievance and Disciplinary policies in terms of which any person who knows of or suspects possible acts of misconduct may confidentially approach their line manager or the Human Resources Director to report same. Such reporting may result in the commissioning of an investigation which may result in the initiation of disciplinary procedures where appropriate.
The University cannot entertain purported anonymous complaints that are lodged with the University through other channels, for example, anonymous e-mails. Everyone has a constitutional right to be treated as innocent until proven guilty. To this end, the University has to protect the privacy, dignity and constitutional rights, of all employees, including those accused of alleged misconduct.
Responsible reporting and investigation of alleged irregularities promotes a culture of accountability and respects the rights of all parties.
The Vice-Chancellor wishes to reiterate that the University is committed to open and constructive engagement with all University stakeholders to bring about stable employee/employer relations to enable the successful fulfilment of the academic project.
Professor CMA Nicholson