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UCT accused of enabling state capture by former senior lecturer, Prof Athol William

Athol Williams

Former UCT employee, Professor Athol Williams, has accused the institution of launching a public attack on him after allegedly rejecting its cash offer. He said he believed the money was to make up for not being offered paid leave to complete a 700-page affidavit for the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

On Monday, the UCT ombudsman offered me a cash payment which I refused. I told him I didn’t want to gain anything personally … The money could go to an NGO. I want UCT to address the concerns I raise for the good of the university and our country.

“I even offered the ombudsman that the money could go to the ethic(s) institute I started which could pay student fees and research collaboration with the university. Less than 48 hours after rejecting their cash offer, they launch a public attack on me,” said Williams.

state capture

He said the money was supposedly a symbolic payment as compensation for lost income because “UCT only offered me unpaid leave to work on my testimony for the Zondo Commission. But the moment money enters such situations, there is always the risk that it comes with strings”.

In response to the claim, the university said: “UCT has made available a process to engage the former GSB staff member and try to resolve the various issues he has raised in relation to the university.

By its lack of support and personal attacks, UCT hampered my efforts to speak up against state capture. Neither the VC, the Chair of Council or the ombudsman have responded to the facts of any of these concerns,” he said.

He said choosing to blow the whistle was not easy and there was a desperate need for protection and support of whistle-blowers. The unemployed Williams said that while he did not regret coming forward, he did regret the damage and stress to his family.

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Source: IOL