Limkokwing University has quashed allegations that it recently requested its bank, First National Bank (FNB), to withdraw funds given through its gratuity scheme from the accounts of those who were recently downsized.
Of late, Limkokwing underwent an exercise to downsize its staff, citing a drastic decline in student enrolment as the main reason for the job losses. Due to the low number of government sponsored students, the school had to reduce the number of the employed staff as they were not consistent with the needs of the students.
In September, Mercy Thebe, Public Relations Manager for Limkokwing, had said that the university had given an opportunity to about 170 employees to opt for voluntary separation and dictated that a further 30 be considered for involuntary separation.
Those who had been with the institution longest were expected to receive their separate Gratuity payment, which they received, according to Malebogo Rakapo, Public Relations Executive of the same institute.
However, there were reports that those who had opted for voluntary separation were at risk of having the funds withdrawn from their accounts after management apparently went back on its decision to grant them their package as well as their gratuity payment. It was said that the University management had written a letter to FNB instructing the bank to recover funds from those who were downsized through the voluntary separation.
“The university has not written any letter to any bank instructing them to recover any loans from staff members who have left the university. In any case it is beyond the mandate of the university to issue such instructions to any bank and it is beyond our belief that any such move would not only be ambitious but malicious as well on the part of the university,” said Rakapo.