Two admission clerks at the Walter Sisulu University have each won a R50 000 defamation lawsuit against the institution after the former chief financial officer accused them of taking bribes from students, says a Daily Dispatch report.

Eastern Cape High Court (Mthatha) Acting Judge Victor Nqumse found in favour of Ncediwe Ngwadle and Nokuthula Mthwa, who were publicly shamed in an e-mail by the CFO who accused them of taking cash to allow students with outstanding fees to graduate or receive their certificates.

Lawyers for the university were a no-show at the trial.

The court heard that the CFO, Brigid Mosola, had dressed the pair down in an e-mail which she copied to a raft of other employees in their department. Mosola had penned a caustic e-mail to the pair, in which she accused them of issuing clearance certificates to students who still owed the institution money, thereby allowing them to graduate.

In his ruling, Nqumse said there was little doubt that the women suffered indignity as a result of the stinging e-mail. While the women claimed damages of R3m each, Nqumse adjusted the award to what he thought was fit.

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Ngwadle and Another v Water Sisulu University and Another