MUT VC and Principal pays personal tribute to late Prince Buthelezi

Dear All

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the Leader I know and respect

As the Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Mangosuthu University of Technology, I am saddened to inform you of the passing away of His Royal Highness, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. The Founder of our University passed away early morning, on 9 September 2023. Prince Buthelezi was hospitalised for a while; a few days ago, he was released from hospital in Durban. This gave all of us at MUT some relief. We were all looking forward to be with him, and continue listening to his wise words. All the time we met HRH, we marvelled at how he related the history of his country, South Africa, and that of the Zulu nation. He was a fantastic storyteller; we will always remember him for that. We will also remember His Royal Highness for the foresight he had for the future of the country. Those of us that are old enough, will recall his efforts at showing how the future of South Africa should be, so that its people would enjoy their country in several ways; so that its people would be free from the apartheid bondage. He will be remembered for the KwaZulu/Natal Indaba project, with which he was showing how South Africa should be, so that it would be accepted by all nations of the world. If you look at the structures the govern the country, they show exactly what HRH was showing us. Such an effort called for bravery; for determination; for true leadership; for friendship; for unselfishness; for the real necessity to invest properly for the future.

Prince Buthelezi was an honest leader who clearly understood that honesty was the foundation of all kinds of relationships. It is the same honesty that allowed HRH to stand firm in his convictions and beliefs that one day South Africa would be free, and there would a place for all its citizens in the sun.

Prince Buthelezi’s leadership shone through during, and after the fall of apartheid, when he was one of the political leaders that all of us, irrespective of our political persuasions, would look upon to show the way. You will recall that President Nelson Mandela, our first democratically elected President, requested Prince Buthelezi to hold the reigns when he, President Mandela, was overseas. President Mandela looked up to Prince Buthelezi to help him with big issues that required proper leadership. On more than one occasion, President Mandela called Prince Buthelezi ‘My leader’, just as Prince Buthelezi, on many occasions, called Oliver Tambo his leader. This was not only reflection of Shenge’s connection to the African National Congress, but also a sign of respect that all these leaders had for each other.

The examination of Prince Buthelezi’s life is watching a real movie of a man, a leader that loved his country, and worked for it for so many years. Over these many years, Prince Buthelezi left his young children with their mother, MaMzila, Princess Irene, and ventured far to take care of affairs affecting either Zulu nation, or the larger country, South Africa. Many of us will recall Prince Buthelezi’s message at the funeral of Princess Irene, his beloved wife of so many years. HRH repeated the words Princess Irene would say as she bade him goodbye: Uhambe kahle. Uzinakekele. Go well. Look after yourself. These were powerful words from a woman who knew very early in their relationship that she was married to a man who was also married to his nation by birth and by necessity. God gave Princess Irene strength to look after their children who were all princes and princesses. God gave Prince Buthelezi strength, and wisdom to look after his nation.

Prince Buthelezi will also be membered for his love for nature. For Prince Buthelezi, animals were a sign from God Himself that the world would not be complete if the animals were not roaming the face of the earth like us, humans.

I would need days, or weeks to relate to you how the world not only respected Prince Buthelezi, but also benefited from wisdom. I would strong recommend that if you want to know about Prince Buthelezi’s relationship with the world and its leaders – both politicians and community and religious leaders, seriously consider visiting the Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Documentation Centre in Ulundi. There you will find tons of material on this leader’s life.

There is no doubt that South Africa, and the world has lost a giant of a leader. Having said that, we must thank God for giving us such a wise leader. We must thank the Buthelezi family for borrowing us their father, their uncle, their grandfather. We must thank the late Queen for borrowing us her husband.

Lastly, I am must highlight the love that Prince Buthelezi showed to MUT. It was only health reasons that made Prince Buthelezi respectfully decline an invitation from MUT. There were not many of these; Prince Buthelezi was a strong and healthy individual who clearly looked after himself. On many occasions, Prince Buthelezi would clear his table and diary to meet MUT staff and leadership. I remember in 2019, when MUT celebrated 40 years of its existence. Prince Buthelezi, at 91 years of age, spent hours interacting with MUT staff and other guests, and posing for pictures on MUT main campus and the North Campus. Very late in the evening, after listening to a lecture that was dedicated to him, Prince Buthelezi also accepted an invitation from Umlazi’s Ntokozo Radio station for an interview. He did that in the name of MUT, which he called ‘MUT’ because for him, it was always an institution for the people which he decided should be built at Umlazi Township, which he called his ‘second home’.  Prince Buthelezi’s love for MUT was a greater love!

Prince Buthelezi’s passing is indeed a great loss.

Prince Buthelezi will also be remembered for his jokes. He was a great entertainer. Ask MPs in Parliament! He loved music. As we all know, he inherited that from his mother, Princess Constance, Magogo, Mathinti, Sibilile, Ngangezinye, Thombisile, who, like her son, lived a for a long time. She passed away in 1984, having been born in 1900.


Hamba Kahle Shenge



Mbabazane kamahaqa


Prince Buthelezi’s regiment was iNgangakazane (This is very important for a Zulu man. It was very common for Zulu warriors to ask each other – which regiment did you belong to? This is part of their identity.)


Message from the MUT Leadership on the Passing of His Excellency Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi

Press release statement

Submitted by:

09 September 2023

Message from the MUT Leadership on the Passing of His Excellency Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi

This morning, shortly after 6h00, the country was officially informed by the President of the Republic of South Africa Honourable President Cyril Ramaphosa of the passing away of his Excellency Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the Founder of Mangosuthu University of Technology,
Traditional Prime Minister of the Zulu Nation, and Founder and President Emeritus of the Inkatha Freedom Party. Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi was also a mentor, friend, philanthropist, and father to many South Africans. He meant so many things to so many people. Our thoughts and prayers are with his immediate family and children.

His passing has come as a shock to all of us because just last week we
rejoiced when he was discharged from hospital and he rejoined his beloved family. The community of Mangosuthu University of Technology is in grief.

On Sunday, 27 August, we – the staff and students of Mangosuthu University of Technology – celebrated his birthday on our MUT Radio, not knowing that the birthday messages he was receiving were to be his last. To his family, friends, MUT staff, MUT students and alumni, we say “Uwile umuthi omkhulu”, a big tree has fallen. The gigantic tree that Prince Mangosuthu was, spread its roots across South Africa and the entire African continent. When Prince Buthelezi established MUT in 1979 with just 15 students, he knew, as a visionary person, that this small institution would grow into a large educational organisation that would have the greatest impact on the poor and the marginalised. Today MUT has over 14,000 students and has produced more than 42,000 alumni who are employed across the world as industry and business leaders, as CEOs and as technical specialists in wide-ranging careers.

We thank God and the Buthelezi family for the gift that Shenge was. Prince Buthelezi was bold and knew how to use his network for the benefit of “abantu abampisholo”, meaning marginalised people and communities. He used this expression many times. It was indeed his compassion for the poor that impelled him to approach Sir Harry Oppenheimer of Anglo-American to provide seed funding for the establishment of MUT in 1979. Anglo-American continues even today to support MUT with student bursaries.

For our part, we are grateful that we were able to honour Prince Buthelezi when he was still alive at our 2022 graduation ceremony of the Faculty of Engineering, for his vision that led to the establishment of MUT with the Faculty of Engineering as a founding entity. Today MUT is a proud technological institution with a strong focus on Science, Engineering and Technology (SET). All of us have known uMntwana as a person who always wanted nothing but the best for MUT. He was like a father who provides the best for his children and stands there to watch in awe as the children exceed all expectations. When MUT received the “Excelleration Award” from the National Research Foundation (NRF) in 2021, in recognition of the excellence of its research and the accelerated speed with which the turnaround happened, Prince Buthelezi wrote:

“I am proud of what MUT has accomplished. More than that, however, I am excited by what this means for the future. Seeing MUT come this far, I know that it has the potential to go even further. With the investments being made in research, innovation, and technology at MUT, I have no doubt that there will be more awards like this, and with the investments that are being made in international partnerships, it is clear that MUT is a rising star.”

Prince Buthelezi’s last meeting with us was at the inauguration of our Chancellor Mr Sandile Zungu, on 17 March 2023 at MUT’s Seme Hall. We were happy to meet him, and he also seemed very excited. This event was attended by more than 200 industry captains, MUT alumni, and all strategic stakeholder groupings. At this event, he urged all of us to lead this University to greater heights. His plea has not fallen on deaf ears. We will ensure that MUT continues to grow in strength and stature so that his legacy is honoured and protected.
The University will organise its memorial service next week after having made arrangements with the family.

May Shenge’s soul rest in eternal peace. Lala ngokuthula, Mntwana wakwaPhindangene, uShenge, Sokwalise, Phungashe!

Shenge, Nqengelele kaMnyamana, Nandingamondi, Sondiya!

Submitted on behalf of
Mr Sandile Zungu, MUT Chancellor
Professor Lourens Van Staden (MUT Administrator),
Professor Marcus Ramogale, MUT’s Acting Vice-Chancellor & Principal


Postponement of test week

The Executive Management Committee (EMC) at its emergency meeting held on 25 August 2023, at 18h00, took a decision to postpone the Test Week that was due to start on 28 August 2023 by a week, as requested by the SRC in a submission made to the Acting VC and Principal.

The Test Week will now take place on 4 September 2023 – 8 September 2023.

Yours sincerely

Dr PP Masala
26 August 2023

State of the University address: 21 August 2023


Sanibonani. Molweni. Dumelang. Lotshani. Thobela. Avuxeni. Ndaa. Mangwanani. Goeie more. Good morning. 

May we please rise and give a moment of silence to colleagues and students we lost this year … Thank you. We also pray for the family of Mr Shan Dwarika, lecturer in the Department of Electrical Engineering, who was kidnapped and brutally murdered last semester. May the souls of all the deceased rest in peace, and may justice and divine punishment come to those whose hands are mired in the blood of innocent people.

I would also like to take this opportunity to wish His Royal Highness Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the Founder of our University, President Emeritus of the IFP and Traditional Prime Minister of the Zulu Nation, speedy recovery and a return to service – something that he cherishes so much as a servant of the people. On Thursday his secretary Ms Lyndith Waller assured my office that Prince Buthelezi is making “steady recovery” and that he was expected to come back home soon. We share that hope.

I am pleased to announce that MUT Radio has opened a platform for everyone to send well wishes through a WhatsApp line. Please join us in sending those messages.

We gather here ahead of the Founder’s 95th birthday this Saturday. We encourage all of you to use all our communication platforms, including MUT Radio, to wish him a happy birthday. We are all stakeholders and beneficiaries of this University because of his vision that led to the establishment of Mangosuthu Technikon in 1979, through seed funding received from Sir Harry Oppenheimer of Anglo-American. Therefore, we all say, Ndabezitha! Unwele olude! Happy birthday in advance, Shenge! Sokwalisa! Phungashe!

In my address today, I will give brief overviews on the state of the university and my EMC colleagues will then add further details where I may not have been broad enough on the topic at hand.

Let me start by sharing good news with you: we have again obtained a clean audit, this time for the 2022 financial year. This positive outcome is the result of collective effort from all of you. We are grateful for your adherence to policies and procedures that enable us to account for every cent we receive from the State. By following our policies and the laws of the country, we send out a good message to the communities we serve and the tax-payers of South Africa. If we continue in this fashion, more funders will entrust us with gifts of money and the core functions of the University will benefit.

Let me also acknowledge the positive role played by the University Administrator Professor Lourens Van Staden and his technical team by allowing us as the executive to continue with the business of running the university without interference. The Administrator has given the Vice-Chancellor space to lead the university community. This has created a positive working environment for me and my executive team. The Administrator will soon be convening a summit with designated stakeholders to discuss the status quo and way forward in respect of his Terms of Reference.

As the leadership of the institution, our primary goal is to make MUT a destination of choice for staff and students and to provide a conducive working and learning environment for them. We are intentional about this, and I will shortly talk about social cohesion and transformation as these are the cornerstones of the university we envision.

This year we commemorate the 10th anniversary of Focus Conference. GnF reported on this conference last Friday, 18 August 2023.  Great strides have been made since the commencement of the Focus Conference, which began its academic life as a colloquium. Coming out of the  Focus Conference, we now have a 322-page scholarly book that was edited by Dr Manyane Makua, Acting DVC: Teaching & Learning and Dr Mariam Akinlou, a Post-Doctoral Fellow who spent some years at our Faculty of Engineering, and is now with the London Metropolitan University. The title of the book is Sustaining Higher Education Through Resource Allocation, Learning Design Models, and Academic Development. This scholarly work is the proceedings of the 2022 Focus Conference. This book, published by Atlantis Press, was also co-edited Mr Mashango Sithole, Dr Phiwayinkosi Gumede, and Mr Cebo Nyondo, all staff members of the TLDC and the conference organising committee. Hearty congratulations to Dr Makua and his team!

The publication of the aforementioned book adds to many positive developments in the university, which I will now talk about as follows:

  1. Putting our people first
  2. Social cohesion and nation-building programmes
  3. Brief reflections on visits to the USA and Namibia
  4. International pre-eminence of MUT
  5. New buildings
  6. Financial boost through the Sibusiso Bhengu Development Programme (SBDP)
  7. Research, Innovation and Engagement
  8. Ten-year anniversary of the TLDC
  9. Development and implementation of a turnaround strategy
  10. NSFAS challenges
  11. Entrepreneurship developments



I wish to acknowledge the development of the Asset Disposal Policy by the Finance Department as that has now enabled us to start with our people when we had to dispose some of our old vehicles recently. The cheapest was R15,000 and the most expensive one was R65,000. This has enabled some of our staff to become first-time car owners.

Currently, the IT&N Department is also developing a concept document on the pricing of 700 laptops that were not purchased by students during Covid-19. Again, this will be a fair process to ensure that our people become the beneficiaries of these assets.

On the student front, the pantry that supports poor students has been officially launched by Gift of the Givers and this has supported more than 4,000 students since last year. We also acknowledge the support of our alumnus Mr Nkululeko Mthembu, a Quantity Surveying graduate who provides toiletries for both female and male students, as and when they are needed. This is an inspiration to everyone to give support where it is required.


While on leave in July, I was impressed to see so many initiatives taking place at the same time, led by staff and students to empower others. I saw staff members from various departments working together for the common good of the University and the nation. The selflessness of highly qualified people getting down to assist the poor and marginalised spoke well of MUT and enhanced our brand. In old age homes, orphanages, and in deepest rural areas, MUT staff and students were there without expecting any reward. These civic acts of kindness demonstrated that the MUT we envision is possible if we work together as a university community.

MUT Radio has also been engaged in social cohesion endeavours:

  1. Promoting diversity and inclusivity

MUT Radio showcases a diverse range of voices, perspectives, and cultures. By featuring programmes, music, and discussions from various backgrounds, it helps both students and staff to appreciate and understand different cultures, this fostering an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and represented.

  1. Broadcasting relevant content

The radio station airs content that is relevant to the university community, such as campus news, upcoming events, academic discussions, and interviews with staff and students. This helps create a shared sense of awareness and engagement with campus life.

  1. Student involvement

The station also involves students in the production and hosting of radio shows. This provides a platform for students to share their interests, talents, and ideas. Collaborative efforts in creating and hosting shows strengthen relationships and teamwork among students.

  1. Showcasing talent

Many universities have a diverse range of talented individuals, including musicians, artists, poets, and public speakers. The radio station provides a platform for these talents to be showcased, promoting a sense of pride and appreciation within the university community.

The value brought by MUT Radio is huge and ranges from discussion of relevant topics, hosting talk shows, panel discussions, and debates on important social, cultural and academic topics, connecting with alumni, and celebrating campus achievements.  By doing all these, MUT Radio plays a powerful role in promoting social cohesion, collegiality, and a strong sense of community among students and staff. All staff and students are encouraged to submit ideas that may enhance the quality of the radio station’s services.



From 6-19 May, I led a delegation to three states in the USA. The delegation included Professor Nokuthula Sibiya, DVC: Research, Innovation and Engagements, and Ms Mbali Mkhize, Senior Director: Marketing and Communications, and currently assigned with additional responsibilities for internationalisation.

The visit was meant to sign partnership agreements at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU) in Tallahassee, Florida, Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia and with SOIL 1 LL in Ohio. However, long-term friendships built over a 23-year relationship with high-level executives in Florida and Georgia resulted in new engagements on prospective partnerships with various schools within FAMU, that is, the College of Engineering, the College of Agriculture, and the School of the Environment. The latter is also spearheading an entrepreneurial programme for MUT to consider oyster farming in an attempt to foster new entrepreneurial approaches, as well as for MUT researchers to bring breadth and depth into the blue economy research. MUT has a potentially competitive advantage of being a leader in oyster farming and research into the blue economy because of its proximity to the sea and the fact that most African communities have not explored new diets that could enhance food security.

In Atlanta, not only did MUT and Spelman College revisit their partnership agreement, but the engagement enabled a President-to-President talk on how both institutions could take forward their collaboration. I see huge spinoffs for both staff and students coming out of the USA visit. There are mid-term and long-term plans that we are putting together to seize the opportunities that are being presented to us.

Last month, I also had the opportunity to be a part of a delegation to Namibia by the board of Technological Higher Education South Africa (THENSA). An opportunity to partner with Namibia University of Technology (NUST) has emerged out of this visit. This will be a good partnership for MUT as there is commonality in our research interests and institutional values.


In line with MUT Strategy 2025, we have done well in positioning our brand internationally. We have moved from zero MoUs in 2020 to 20 signed MoUs with universities in Africa, Europe, USA, and Asia. These MoUs will assist MUT to facilitate both staff and student exchanges so they can deepen their knowledge in research and innovation, as well as teaching and learning. Our students will also get the opportunity to participate in cultural immersion and entrepreneurship programmes.

We are deeply heartened by the eagerness of several European universities to work with us. We now have partnerships and collaborations in France, the United Kingdom, and Sweden. Last year, we had about 11 MUT staff participate in the South Africa-Sweden Forum (SASUF) conference. This year, I was invited to the SASUF’s Research and Innovation Week in Cape Town where we met with close to 40 South African and Swedish Vice-Chancellors. I noted with great interest the participation of MUT delegates during the conference.

SASUF informed us two months ago that four of our researchers have received the SASUF grant to enhance their research with various universities in South Africa and Sweden. This afternoon Ms Helin Backman from Sweden will visit us to provide further details on how staff could participate in the SASUF’s Research Conference taking place in Sweden next year. On Wednesday, we will have DAAD, a funding agency from Germany, making presentations to attract our top postgraduate students and academics to pursue Master’s and PhD studies in Germany. Last week, we had a partner from France who came to present a workshop to our staff on Artificial Intelligence.

Over the past two years, we have been able to form partnerships with universities in Botswana, Namibia, and Congo, and there are many other collaborative engagements underway in Ghana and Nigeria. Our international student recruitment drive has also seen us this year visit more than 173 schools in Lesotho with 10,500 learners.

It would also be remiss if me not to recognise the contribution being made by our international academic staff members in advancing MUT’s Internationalisation Strategy. Currently, MUT has a fair number of international academics, particularly from the African continent. All these international gains are part of our MUT Strategy 2025. Many thanks to all those who have contributed to the success of our Internationalisation Strategy.


We now have two new buildings: the new Engineering Building and the Student Centre. We have already started moving staff and students into the new buildings. Last semester we moved some staff members into the new Engineering Building. Two weeks ago, we had the Department of Student Affairs, the SRC and Financial Aid staff move to the new Student Centre Building. We thank the Resources & Planning Portfolio for making this possible by properly managing the government grant, overseeing the construction process, and preparing the buildings for occupation. We are proud of the new buildings and we invite you to visit them and see what state of the art construction really means. Dr Blade Nzimande, the Minister for Higher Education and Training, will be asked to come and open these buildings officially on a date still to be determined.


At the beginning of this year, we received a letter from the Minister of Higher Education and Training allocating an amount of R341 million to MUT as earmarked funding for specially approved projects. This financial assistance will go a long way towards advancing the mission and vision of the University. Special thanks go to various offices which submitted proposals for various projects. These projects will be located in various departments and divisions. As a result of this funding, the Engineering Faculty will be able to furnish all its new offices and laboratories, while the Operations Directorate will be able to refurbish student residences, construct new laboratories, establish boreholes, and so on. We are getting bigger and better. We want to thank the Department of Higher Education and Training for conceptualising the Sibusiso Bhengu Development Programme and for this funding.


Our research output target for 2022 was 45.2 DHET Units. The 97.7471 units received for 2022 is significantly higher than the 53.151 units reported for the same period during 2021. The target for 2022 was significantly exceeded. The increase amounts to an improvement of 116.3% which is attributed to staff capacity building initiatives, the appointment of Postdoctoral Research Fellowships and Retired Research Professors, who all made significant contributions towards improving our research output.

The following five researchers were successful in their applications for the 2022 NRF Rating:

  • Prof M.N. Sibiya: C2-rated
  • Prof T. Davies: C2-rated
  • Dr O. Ebenezer: Y2-rated
  • Dr N. Gumede: Y2-rated
  • Dr D. Naidoo: Y2-rated

The 2022 target entailed finalisation of research funding proposals by 2%, which was seven funded proposals. This target was exceeded as 27 proposals were funded in 2022. The cumulative income from research grants and contracts was R8 884 950.20.


Ten years ago, the University recognised a critical need for a dedicated centre to provide teaching and learning support to both staff and students. Senate supported the creation of the TLDC in November 2012, and at the beginning of 2013 the TLDC opened its doors. Since then, the TLDC has been engaged in wide-ranging training and academic development initiatives, with a focus on upskilling lecturers to become competent teachers and students to become successful learners. In just 10 years, the TLDC has become a champion of academic development and e-learning at MUT, offering courses and training to staff and students. We acknowledge and celebrate the pivotal role that the TLDC has played, and continues to play, in enhancing the quality of education at MUT.


We have developed a Turnaround Strategy for the University. This strategy entails initiatives  to strengthen and reposition MUT through a 3S pproach:

  • To stabilise and fix problems/challenges;
  • To strengthen our leadership; and
  • To shine as MUT.

In turning around the Institution, the matter of the MUT’s financial sustainability is paramount. However as Management, we appreciate the fact that the matter of finances cannot, and should not, be seen in isolation. To this end, the turnaround strategy also focuses on the need to address issues related to Organisational Climate and Culture and the areas related to improving Social Cohesion at the University. Experts will be appointed shortly to assist Management in developing a way forward related to these areas. All these initiatives are meant to elevate MUT to a University of the future on par with its counterparts.

Our Senior Management committed itself to this Turnaround Strategy at a Senior Management Lekgotla held in the first semester. As advised by the Administrator, we can now proceed with the implementation of this strategy as a Management Plan. Aspects of this strategy will be integrated into the Administrator’s Five-Year Development Plan as part of his Terms of Reference. Management recently approved a close-out report, and we are now officially in the implementation phase. We will share with you new developments in this regard as we proceed.


You are all familiar with NSFAS challenges experienced by some students. These are difficult times indeed. We want to thank our students and student leadership for resisting the pressure to disrupt the academic programme because of these national problems. By so doing, our students demonstrated maturity by refusing to turn national problems into local challenges. NSFAS problems are national in character and origin and should not be localised.

Slightly over a week ago, I was part of a USAf Board that had a meeting with the NSFAS leadership and the Minister of Higher Education and Training to discuss these NSFAS challenges. Another meeting with the NSFAS leadership will take place soon to take our discussion forward. While solutions are being sought nationally, we urge our students to focus on their studies. We are just a few months from completing the academic year.


As you know, this topic is very close to my heart. I am pleased to report that a new entrepreneurship champion has joined Executive Management. Professor Nokuthula Sibiya, the DVC: Research, Innovation and Engagement, has joined the entrepreneurship bus. Her enthusiasm and support will go a long way. As the British writer and Anglican lay theologian C.S. Lewis has said: “Two heads are better than one, not because either is infallible, but because they are unlikely to go wrong in the same direction.”

I wish to encourage everyone to embrace the spirit of entrepreneurship as this is the only way to build a bright future for our students. A few weeks ago, Professor Sibiya seized an opportunity for the training of our student entrepreneurs and academic leaders made possible by THENSA. Recently, Dr Bheka Ntshangase, the Acting Dean of the Faculty of Management Sciences, was profiled in the media for the launch of Student Women Economic Empowerment Programme (SWEEP). Congratulations to Dr Ntshangase and his entrepreneurship team. I would also like to congratulate the Faculty of Natural Sciences for implementing an entrepreneurship programme.


As I conclude, I want to recognise the sterling work of the MUT Choir. Last month our choir won in national choral competitions, this in spite of MUT not having a Music Department. Our netball team also won at the USSA games, while one of our Enactus students won a laptop, and MUT’s GBV song was recognised as an inspirational song for students across the country. Indeed, MUT has got talent; MUT is a place of inspiration.

I therefore ask you to stand up and give a resounding applause to our MUT achievers.

I would like to thank all of you for contributions, great and small. Keep your nose to the grindstone, keep on rising and the world will notice you. Always remember what Vince Lombardi, a renowned American Football coach once said:

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that when we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”

If we can all remember this piece of advice, then the world will be MUT’s oyster.

Siyabonga. May the Almighty God continue to bless us.


Professor Marcus Ramogale

Vice-Chancellor & Principal (Acting)

21 August 2023

Profile on Mr Dwarika, May his soul RiP

Mr. Shan Dwarika’s Career and Accomplishments

Mr. Shan Dwarika is known to be a peaceful person that has a good working relationship with colleagues within the Department of Electrical Engineering and the Faculty of Engineering at large. He was a father figure to many of his students over the past years. He has contributed to the development of many students at Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) over the past 26 years.

Before joining MUT, he was a trainee technician at SABC (South African Broad Casting Co-operation) from 1984, and later a Senior industrial Technician till 30th April 1997. He was a registered as Professional Engineering Technician.

Mr. Dwarika joined MUT on 1st May 1997 as a lecturer in the Department of Electrical Engineering and because of his industry expertise in the communication area, he taught communication-related modules such as Television Engineering, Radio Engineering, Electronic Communication, and Digital Communication at the National Diploma level. Presently he was teaching Digital Systems II and Projects II at the Diploma level

He was awarded the prestigious C V Raman Fellowship for African Researchers in 2011. (This prestigious fellowship is aimed to further strengthen collaborations between India and African nations in the fields of science and technology). He was hosted by the Cochin University of Science and Technology for the C V Raman Fellowship. His research during this programme on thin films formed the foundation of solar panel design and fabrication.

In 2012 he was seconded from the Department of Electrical Engineering to the newly established Centre for the Development of Green Technology at MUT which was funded by the ESKOM and Technology Innovation Agency (TIA). He was instrumental in setting up the Renewable Energy Stream in the National Diploma programme in 2015 and he taught the following modules; Solar PV cells, and Wind Energy.

Shan Dwarika holds a Master Diploma in Technology (Electronics/Electrical) -T5, Diploma in Datametrics (Computing & Analogue and Digital Electronics) from UNISA. B.Sc. degree (Information Systems & Quantitative Management) from UNISA and Advanced Program in Project Management through UNISA. He was enrolled for his Ph.D. studies at Durban University of Technology in the field of Alternative Energy.

He was a member of the Devine Life Society and He is survived by his wife (Camy) and three children (1 boy and 2 girls) along with 3 grandchildren.

Notice to NSFAS Students – June Allowances

Dear NSFAS Student

Please note that June allowances will be paid on Monday, 5 June 2023. Unfortunately, allowances weren’t able to be released today. We apologise for this and are working with our bank to see if it is possible to process tomorrow, however, if this is not possible, the allowances will be transferred on Monday morning.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in this matter.

Office of the CFO.

Staff member reported missing

Mr Shan Dwarika

On behalf of MUT Executive we report, with sadness, that a colleague Mr Shan Dwarika, Lecturer in Electrical Engineering, has been reported missing since Saturday, 27th May 2023.

He is a resident of Verulam and was last seen in Sea Cow Lake attending to repairs at his property. A case of missing person has been reported at the Greenwood Police Station. At the time of his disappearance Mr Dwarika was driving a Black Honda CRV with registration NJ 21395. His cellphone has been switched off. No one has contacted the family for any ransom. Notices of his missing have been widely circulated. Allegedly, there is a video in circulation, showing his kidnapping.

No further update is available at this stage.

We are requesting staff and students to join us in prayers as police search for Mr Dwarika.

Please call the Greenwood Park Police Station 031 571 6512 or 10111 to report this should you have any information.

Address By The Minister Of Higher Education, Science And Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, on the occasion of the Inauguration of Chancellor of MUT, Mr Sandile Zungu


17 March 2023

Programme Director

The Chancellor, Mr Sandile Donald Muziwenkosi Zungu;

The Administrator, Prof Lourens Van Staden;

Acting Vice Chancellor and Principal, Prof Marcus Ramogale;

Deputy Vice-Chancellors and other members of the Executive Management present;

Officials from the Department of Higher Education and Training and my Ministry ;

MUT staff;

The leadership of the students;

Distinguished guests,

Members of the media,

Ladies and gentlemen




First and foremost, allow me to thank the Administrator of the University for inviting me to this special occasion of the installation and inauguration of Mr Sandile Zungu as Chancellor of the Mangosuthu University of Technology.

I am deeply honoured to be a part of this special occasion and share this special historical moment with you, your family, the entire MUT community and South Africa at large.

Ladies and gentlemen

Mr Zungu’s association with Umlazi is a personal one, he was born here in the fourth largest township after Soweto, Tembisa and Katlehong.  We are proud about his accomplishments and significant networks within the business community, locally and nationally.

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my warmest congratulations to Mr Zungu on his appointment as the Chancellor of this University.

I believe your appointment as a Chancellor of MUT presents enormous opportunities for this University to tap into your networks for funds to contribute toward a sterling future that must be felt and experienced by people of Umlazi.

Having appointed Mr Zungu, the University must seek to leverage his networks and associates to improve the profile of MUT, including linking MUT with industry in order to facilitate Work Based Learning for all learners of this university.

Both my Departments of Higher Education and Training and Science and Innovation and I,  wish you the greatest of success in your appointment and we are looking forward to your contribution in the rebuilding of this University.

Role of a Chancellor

Ladies and gentlemen

The role of the Chancellor is to preside over all congregations and in particular confer all degrees and award all diplomas and certificates at graduation.

Though the office has no executive powers, given the context of our higher education system, the Chancellor, provides leadership to the University without being its manager or governor.

You are an ambassador advocating to raise its profile, and advancing its interests nationally, regionally and internationally. As the University’s titular head, you have an important ambassadorial role for the University, working with the Vice-Chancellor and the Council Chairperson, in this case the Administrator, to represent the University in the external community.

As MUT Chancellor you may be expected to act as mediator and unifying symbol during times of disputes. This is important because governance and management at MUT has been a matter of contention for many years, resulting in instability in the office of the Vice-Chancellor.

The University has been a subject of ministerial interventions more than any of the other institutions since its establishment as a university, with three (3) independent assessments have taken place, and two administrator appointments.

A common theme emerging from the various Independent Assessor report is that of an institution whose institutional identity and ethos are counter to the notion of what a university should be.

I trust you will support MUT leadership and management in the supreme task of reversing that history and join in the effort to rebrand this institution amongst the best that South Africa can offer.

This university enrols over 13 000 students annually. We therefore must not underestimate the significant of the role that this university plays in this community and our country at large.

We know that education provides the means for many in our communities to escape poverty.

As our former State President Nelson Mandela puts it: Education is a great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of a mine, that the child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation.”

Therefore, without any fail, there is therefore an expectation for this University to provide high quality student experience and outcomes because no country can develop unless its citizens are educated.

The 2021 Independent Assessor Report recommended that a concerted effort should be made to transform the culture of this University. We must thus rebuild the image of this institution and strive to be impactful if we seek to ensure that MUT remains relevant to the future.

MUT must define its inherent advantages, the opportunities it can explore and the needs it can serve, the areas it can lead over the next decade and beyond.

With its own advantages, this university must not seek to be like any other that we have in our country, but it must craft its own trajectory and its own unique identity.

I trust that under the leadership of the Administrator, Professor Van Staden, working together with the Management of this University and the new Chancellor, we will begin to see the tide turns; and the University becoming more impactful particularly in the area of Umlazi.

The role of Universities of Technology

Ladies and gentlemen,

The changing nature of work—which favours more flexible and shorter- term assignments— has been widely cited as a key challenge for our future education system.

Therefore, our Universities of Technology (UoT’s) such as MUT have a critical role to play in promoting the knowledge and skills required to facilitate the critical transitions which South Africa has to inevitably embrace. I must also indicate that  MUT is among the 7 of the 26 universities which is assigned this critical role and must not deviate from it.

To ensure that we close this gap in the provision of these critical skills, UoT’s were therefore established to provide essential professional, technological and applied programmes to enable us to bridge the gap between the world of learning and the world of work.  It therefore becomes important that UoT’s must not stray from their critical mission.

We cannot have our UoT’s embark on ‘mission drift’ away from their core mission and wanting to become traditional, academic universities. This would be fatal to our vision of a differentiated higher education and training system, as envisaged in the White Paper on PSET of 2017.

Work-integrated learning, learnerships and similar strategies enabling our students to integrate theoretical training and practical, industry-knowledge and experience, is absolutely important to retain and indeed expand. This is particularly important in the context of the challenges  facing South Africa.

We therefore need a post school education and training system that is skills centred, innovation led and entrepreneurship driven.

It is for these reasons also that our UoTs must also aim to become anchor institutions in the development of the localities in which they are embedded.

Innovation and skills development are crucial to provide the catalysts for uptake of new job opportunities, to create new products and services, and to grow critical sectors of our economy.

I would like to see  our PSET institutions working much more collaboratively than in previous times, specifically to construct partnerships between Universities, TVET Colleges, industry and local communities around key economic sectors.

In this regard, I see the District Development Model (DDM) as an ideal geographical set of spaces around which to construct workable partnerships between these institutions collaborating together in solving development challenges at a local level – for example, water management, food production, renewable energy for low-cost housing, and so forth.

PSET Response to current protest

Programme Director

I also would like to take this opportunity to reflect on some pertinent issues affecting our post school education and training sector, particularly in relation to our sector’s response on current protests taking place in some of our institutions.

I would like to thank all our stakeholders, particularly our Vice Chancellors, organised through Universities South Africa (Usaf) and the South Africa Union of Students (SAUS) and our Trade Unions who heeded to our call for further engagement at an institutional level to deal with challenges that were raised by students and some labour unions at various institutions in our country.

This led to the end of most of the protests taking place in some of our universities and TVET colleges in the past two weeks.

As I have said in my public statement the best place to develop localised mitigation strategies to deal with students and worker challenges is at the institutional level.

I therefore would like to restate that using internal mechanisms, through forums such as the Institutional Forums, would be the most appropriate platforms for all institutional stakeholders to resolved any challenges that might arise.

I however remained concern about the violent nature of some of the protests, which in part manifested isolated acts of intimidation of students, staff and members of the public and the destruction of public and private property.

On submission of enrolment data and NSFAS funding

I also want to further urge all our institutions who have not submitted their enrolment data to NSFAS to do so urgently and accurately, in order to enable NSFAS to  promptly process the student allowances in instances where such allowances have not been proceeded due to incomplete data.

As a Department we are also assisting NSFAS with additional funding to ensure that its IT systems capabilities expand in direct proportion of the number of students NSFAS supports. We therefore have set aside R54 million for NSFAS system support.

Let me also indicate that for MUT in 2022 alone, NSFAS accommodation supported about 9343 student, noting that just over 14 000 students were registered at MUT in 2022. Around 66% or two- thirds of students supported at this institution are NSFAS bursary recipients.

As I have indicated publicly, to date 1,084 574 students have been funded by NSFAS in 2023.

Of the total number of first-time entering students provisionally funded 532,602 are SASSA beneficiaries – this accounts for 80% of First Time Entering Student who applied and are funded by NSFAS. 443 617 Student have opted to study at universities as compared to 211,235 students that have chosen TVET college as their preferred institution to study.

Again, NSFAS has improved its systems to enable it to make real time funding decisions.  At this stage NSFAS is able to make real-time funding decisions for SASSA beneficiaries, while it continues to engage with SARS to enable the same for all its other applicants.

Programme director, I felt that it is important that I highlight these important developments that are taking place in our sector before I conclude on remarks today.

Thank you for very much for the opportunity to be here today and I wish MUT success under its current leadership.

Word Count:1810

Mr Sandile Zungu’s speech on the occasion of his installation as Chancellor of MUT


The role of universities in serving the developmental needs of their immediate communities and society

Dr Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

Madam Bridget Motsepe-Radebe, Pan-African Parliament Ambassador for Women Entrepreneurship and Economic Development in Africa

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, The MUT Founder

Anlin Sun, Acting Consul General of the Chinese Consulate in Durban

Dr Nkosinathi Sishi, Director-General of the Department of Higher Education and Training

Dr Marcia Socikwa, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Higher Education and Training

Emeritus Justice Sisi Khampepe, Chancellor of the University of Pretoria

Dr Judy Dlamini, Chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand

Sandile Zungu, the Chancellor-elect and his family

Professor Lourens van Staden, the MUT Administrator

Prof Marcus Ramogale, the MUT Acting Vice-Chancellor

Members of the royal family

Industry Captains

Executive Management of MUT

The Student Representative Council

The Convocation Executive

MUT Staff and students

Distinguished guests which includes unkosikazi wami, umkhwe nomkhwekazi wami, osbari bami, my brothers and sisters, friends, ladies and gentlemen


Heeeeeebe! Usuthu!….


I am deeply honoured for the opportunity to contribute to Mangosuthu University of Technology as its Chancellor for the next five years. I was initially reluctant to accept the Chancellorship, only because of the calibre of leaders on whose shadow I will have to walk. Let’s name the former MUT Chancellors: Reverend Dr KEM Mgojo, former premier Willies Mchunu and former minister Lindiwe Sisulu. How do I begin to walk in the shoes of such African giants? I am not the one to shy away from responsibility. I therefore commit to doing my best to honour the tradition of Chancellorship which my predecessors championed for this university.

My journey and that of MUT are similar in many respects. Like MUT, I was born and raised in Umlazi Township, which is also where I matriculated. MUT and I also share a common first love, Engineering. My first qualification is in Mechanical Engineering, and for MUT, Engineering was the University’s founding faculty. Many people probably know me better as a businessperson or an entrepreneur, which by coincidence is also where the University is headed.

With this background in mind, I want to move to the crux of my speech. My speech will focus on the role that universities should play in serving the developmental needs of society in general and their immediate communities. My speech will not be academic, not in the original sense of the word, but I want to locate it within the culture of public intellectualism. As such, I want to introduce an idea that challenges the often-imagined barrier and/or belief that to contribute to intellectual discourses about issues that our communities face, one must be an academic or a researcher. This idea forms the foundation of a lot of what I am going to share with you.

I am not the first person to comment on the role of universities and neither will I be the last. For example, in his inauguration as Chancellor of UNISA, former president Thabo Mbeki, said, “higher education is also important for good citizenship and for enriching and diversifying people’s lives”.  While former president of Tanzania, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, in his 1963 speech as Chancellor of the University of East Africa said:  “For let us be quite clear; the University has not been established purely for prestige purposes. It has a very definite role to play in development in this area, and to do this effectively it must be in, and of, the community it has been established to serve.”

Part of what I am doing with this speech is to invite you to imagine what the role of our beloved MUT should be given the current challenges. This is an important exercise for two reasons: 1. MUT is located at the heart of a sprawling township, Umlazi, which means that its role cannot be the same as the role played by other relatively more privileged universities in their respective communities; and 2. Being located in Umlazi also means that the university has first-hand experience with some of the challenges that the community is faced with. But Universities are where new ideas are developed, debated and tested; it is also where future generations are educated and trained.

Universities have a moral obligation to also train and educate their immediate community to meet their practical daily needs. For MUT, this would mean reaching out to various stakeholders and offering them much-needed education on issues or subjects that have an impact on their lives and their development. In other words, MUT should be the centre of knowledge not only for those who have been accepted to study and have paid their tuition but also for the rest of the community. As unemployment continues to wreak havoc, MUT is better positioned to champion entrepreneurship beyond the university’s borders by offering seminars on subjects such as cash flow management, tax planning and compliance, customer management and technology innovation in businesses. This will help unlock the entrepreneurial potential of Umlazi Township and bring closer to MUT much needed corporate partnerships.

Institutions such as MUT also occupy a place of pride in the hearts and minds of the people of Umlazi and the rest of South Africa. On a symbolic level, the institution represents hope and ambition. Umlazi, like many of our townships, requires the revitalization of hope and ambition for citizens whose power banks of hope have been severely depleted. With its great symbolic power, MUT can restore hope. Imagine MUT designing a comprehensive and accredited course for taxi drivers focusing on customer centricity, embracing technology, cashless payment methods and Safety Health Environment and Quality? Giving these trained taxi drivers a certificate of attendance (or more) would restore hope and self-pride. For not only does that certificate say they have completed training at MUT, but it also says they have the potential to better their lives. Imagine the impact of that training on the lives of South Africans who use taxis daily. The possibilities are limitless when we begin to think of the university in this way.

Ask any young urban parent about the group of people who are most important in their parenting journey, eight out of 10 would say grandparents. Out of those eight, five will probably say, “if only they could also help with homework”. Imagine a course designed to help pensioners read and write and use a computer with the internet. Think about how proud these grandparents would be of their new sense of responsibility, which also allows them to share in the intellectual development of their grandchildren.

After all, universities are part of an ecosystem of knowledge generation and sharing. What this means is that the University also has a double-edged role of producing and engaging with public intellectuals or what Italian scholar, Antonio Gramsci, called the “organic intellectual”. These intellectuals come in various ages and genders and share their thoughts on various spaces and languages. More platforms are required to intentionally engage with these public intellectuals and the rest of our communities. Knowledge sharing forms the basis for any attempt at developing knowledge that engages communities because sharing knowledge is a two-way street.

How can universities meet this obligation? MUT, like many other universities, has three pillars; that is teaching and learning, research and community engagement. It is the latter of the three that I think holds the key to intensifying the role of the University in the community of Umlazi. This university is rich with academics and researchers in skills areas that could be of great benefit to the community of Umlazi. There are academics who are experts in Accounting, Law, Marketing and Agriculture, to name a few. Refocusing community engagement to respond to community needs would revitalize the hopes and ambitions of the people of Umlazi.

MUT also has another untapped potential, that of students. We celebrate these students’ graduations every year, but we seldom give a thought to the fact that their education is Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) or not. We need to start integrating public service as part of the requirements for one to graduate with a qualification. Every student can contribute to increasing access to knowledge for community members who need it the most. Why is an Electrical Engineering student not using their expertise to assess household electrical wirings in our informal settlements and where there is a greater need? The same question would apply to Agriculture students and students who excel in Mathematics and Sciences, to name a few.

In conclusion, a university is only as good as the community that surrounds it. When the community prospers, the university also prospers.

With these few words, I wish to assure you, Ndunankulu ka Zulu wonkana, Mntwana wakwaPhindangene that I am very excited at becoming chancellor of the institution you conceptualized in 1974. Honourable Minister Nzimande, you can count on the chancellor of Mangosuthu University of Technology to make this a world-class tertiary institution.


I thank you!

MUT Administrator, Prof Lourens Van Staden’s speech on the occasion of the installation of the new Chancellor of MUT


As the Administrator of Mangosuthu University of Technology, I extend a heartfelt welcome to all attending this inauguration ceremony of the new Chancellor. We are particularly grateful for the presence of various dignitaries who have joined us for this auspicious occasion. I would like to recognise the following people who have joined in the academic procession:

Dr Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

Madam Bridget Motsepe-Radebe, Pan-African Parliament Ambassador for Women Entrepreneurship and Economic Development in Africa

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, The MUT Founder

Anlin Sun, Acting Consul General of the Chinese Consulate in Durban

Dr Nkosinathi Sishi, Director-General of the Department of Higher Education and Training

Dr Marcia Socikwa, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Higher Education and Training

Emeritus Justice Sisi Khampepe, Chancellor of the University of Pretoria

Dr Judy Dlamini, Chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand

Sandile Zungu, the Chancellor-elect and his family

Professor Lourens van Staden, the MUT Administrator

Prof Marcus Ramogale, the MUT Acting Vice-Chancellor

Members of the royal family

Industry Captains

Executive Management of MUT

The Student Representative Council

The Convocation Executive

MUT Staff and students


Ladies and Gentlemen, you are all welcome. Today’s ceremony is also an opportunity for MUT to pay a special tribute to Umlazi Township, which the institution proudly calls its home. There is no better way to say thank you to Umlazi than by choosing one of its own to be Chancellor. This decision is not only an expression of faith in the university’s immediate community but is also a reminder that the destiny of the university and that of Umlazi are intertwined.

Universities pay careful consideration when choosing their leaders and/or people who will officially represent the institution because of the great responsibilities bestowed on universities. If “a fish rots from the head down”, it is safe to surmise that a healthy one is also healthy from the head down. This idiom is a reminder that it matters who leads, and conversely, not everyone can lead. This is more so in the current South African higher education system which faces several challenges.

Mr Chancellor, the University is humbled that you accepted its request. But “to whom much is given, much will be required”. The university trusts that you will see value in contributing to its re-energising efforts to create meaningful partnerships with corporate South Africa. Your position in the business sector gives you the influence and respect that can change the fortunes of this university. It is well-known that Historically Disadvantaged Institutions are not looked at favourably by potential donors and funders. We hope that your association with MUT will remind the business community that if they are serious about making a difference that matters, MUT should be their first stop. This university is a great place for those who have a thirst for making a difference.

I have no doubt that you will render your responsibilities as Chancellor with great honour, humility and distinction. I wish you a fruitful journey at MUT.

With those few words, I thank you.