Poly Lowers Requirements for Top Position… As Jafta Prepares to Succeed Gunzel

The Polytechnic of Namibia Council has resolved to lower the qualification requirement for the position of vice-rector of administration and finance – from a doctorate to a master’s degree. The move is seen as paving the way for the current registrar Corneels Jafta to fill the post.

Jafta, who has served as registrar since 2000, holds a master’s degree in education from the University of Canberra in Australia. He has no financial qualifications. According to minutes of the Polytechnic council meeting of last week Friday, Jafta recused himself from the meeting when the council discussed and eventually resolved that “the position of Vice RectorDeputy Vice Chancellor does not require a Doctorate qualification.”

“There are other competencies, knowledge and experiences that can counterbalance the Doctorate qualification for the particular post,” say the council minutes in possession of New Era.

The council agreed to recommend “the appointment of the selected candidate due to his track record and his performance over the years including an opinion from the auditors”.

Insiders at the Polytechnic said Jafta was the frontrunner and probably the only candidate considered to succeed 75-year-old Dr Gert Gunzel, subsequently putting him in charge of the institution’s purse.

However, the Polytechnic also stands accused of practising bad governance by allowing Gunzel to continue serving as vice-rector after having surpassed the set institutional retirement age of 65 years by a decade.

“It is not fair that others must retire when they turn 65 while others get away with it. If they cannot find a suitable candidate then why can’t they find someone to act in that position?” said a Polytechnic insider.

Previous council members have revealed to New Era that there were previous unsuccessful attempts to push Jafta into the very same position, despite him not meeting the set qualification requirements, but the council had then blocked those attempts.

Attempts to solicit comment from the former Polytechnic council chairperson Niilo Taapopi proved futile, with Taapopi saying: “I am not part of the council anymore, therefore I cannot comment on Polytechnic matters.”

Council minutes show that the council at its meeting held in March discussed and agreed that the position of vice-rectordeputy vice-chancellor for administration and finance does not require a doctorate qualification.

Council used the University of Namibia’s qualification requirements to justify that there is no need for the incoming vice-rector: administration and finance at the Polytechnic to hold a doctorate.

Unam recently aertised the vacant post of pro-vice-chancellor: administration and finance, with a number of requirements such as a master’s degree in finance, business administration, or chartered accountancy.

Source : New Era