The University of Cape Town (UCT) has denied claims that the University is in crisis and that there are divisions within its executive. There has also been claims concerning the Vice-Chancellor, Mamokgethi Phakeng, for several months. Now, Phakeng is finally addressing the drama but is not responding to personal allegations laid against her.
This has surely been damaging to us as a University … since I am being directly referred to in the report, it is inappropriate for me to comment publicly.
Staff members have laid claims against Phakeng saying that she does partake in bullying staff, according to a report released. It has been said that the bullying claims against Phakeng were continuously ignored which lead to the report being released.
The Vice-Chancellor has said that the claims against the University will be dealt with by the University council.
“It is essential that I do not respond to any allegations in the media. This is in respect of the rule of law and goof governance”.
On divisions in the executive, Phakeng responded that robust debate is both necessary and inevitable.
“I can assure you that UCT is not in crisis. The leadership is focussed on sustainable success of the institution will outlive any leader of the institution,” said Phakeng.
The University is currently in a legal impasse with it’s Ombud, Zetu Makamandela-Mguqulqwa, who released the report, has avoided suspension with only two months of her term left to serve.
“A number of work-related complaints came to me about professional interactions with the VC where people felt bullied, silenced, undermined, rebuked and/or treated unfairly. Their pain was visible. Some affected bystanders also came to express fear and told me how they were impacted individually by different incidents Not one of those who brought these issues wanted me to approach the VC as they feared retaliation,” said Makamandela-Mguqulqwa.
IOL reported, “The vice-chancellor’s legal opinion said the report had humiliated Phakeng and while it appeared to be an annual report, “it is not in fact a report. It is an amalgam of a report and personal allegations of the incumbent against sure offices”.
The Vice-Chancellor previously said that it was not a report but rather an amalgam of a report and personal allegations of the incumbent against sure offices.
The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé