Saturday 10 April 2021
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Du Toit resigns as acting VC

In a surprising letter sent to staff members of the Namibian University of Science and Technology, Morne du Toit, Acting Vice Chancellor of the institution, wrote to inform his colleagues that he had on the 29th of October notified the Chair of the Council and the Minister of Higher Education of his “intention to step down” from his position as acting Vice Chancellor.
Du Toit articulates the details of his appointment in March 2019 when the then chairperson of the Council appointed him as Acting Vice Chancellor for a one-year period or until such time that the position was filled.
Due to the infighting and irregularities of the advertising and appointing an appointee in the position, du Toit relays how his tenure was inadvertently extended when the recruitment process ceased and further when Advocate Schimming-Chase and Mr Von Jeney resigned from Council.
“The acting period was by default extended for a period longer than I expected,” he writes.
“It is also important to note that the current /council’s term is coming to an end with the imminent appointment of a new Council.
I believe it is up to such a new Council to determine their selected candidate for acting purposes while they restart the recruitment process.
I shall remain in my position until such time as the new Council appoints a new Acting Vice Chancellor,” du Toit further writes.
There was consternation at the time of du Toit’s appointment to the position, with some lecturers at NUST left fuming at the time after Council announced the appointment of a ‘junior’ member of staff as Acting Vice Chancellor.
Information contained in the minutes of special meeting of management committee of NUST Council held on 19th of March 2019, attended by Adv Esi Schimming-Chase, Goms Menetté and Samuel Januarie indicates that Mr Morné Du Toit will be appointed subject to successful completion of his probation period and provided that no concerns or pending disciplinary action has been brought against him.
The minutes further indicate that all three Deputy Vice- Chancellors at NUST had expressed their availability and interest to serve as acting Vice-Chancellor until the position is substantially filled. The members of the committee decided that the acting Vice-Chancellor will be appointed for a period of one year or until the position is substantially filled due to the complexity of the recruitment process.
The minutes also indicate that all three Deputy Vice-Chancellors submitted their CVs to the management committee to be considered to serve as acting Vice-Chancellor.”
The writer further noted that “the minutes (of said meeting) also indicate that a casting vote was made by the chairperson Adv Esi Schimming-Chase to appoint du Toit as acting Vice-Chancellor, reasoning that du Toit would be the best candidate to serve as acting Vice-Chancellor for a period of one year or until the position is substantially filled, basing her argument on the (then) current climate of Namibia with contracting economy and financial hardship faced by institutions across the country.
“It has been an honour and a privilege to serve the University during this transitional time,” du Toit wraps up.
“I also want to extend my gratitude to the NUST community for their support during my tenure as Acting Vice Chancellor.
In the same vein, I also owe the outgoing Council a debt of gratitude for having the confidence to trust me in this role and for its support since then.”
Du Toit has vast experience in the higher education sector and he has assumed roles in the past such as Director of Finance and Procurement at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia among others.

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