UCT Council Conflict To Be Investigated: The University of Cape Town (UCT) is considered the best university on the African continent. However, the governance of Africa’s top university is facing challenges which plague the institution.
The University of Cape Town (UCT) Council chairperson, Babalwa Ngonyama along with Vice-Chancellor, Mamokgethi Phakeng were accused of misrepresenting the reasons why former Deputy Vice-Chancellor Lis Lange left the institution in March.
According to chairperson Ngonyama and Vice-Chancellor Phakeng, Lange left UCT voluntarily and resigned from their post. However, this was disputed in a recent senate meeting where Lange, in a letter, stated that she was forced out of the position by Phakeng.
Ngonyama says some members of the senate took the view that the latter explanation of Lange’s departure was the truth. They said a process must be followed to determine which version of the two scenarios is correct.
They added, “You may find that actually, these two versions are not even far from each other but when you sit around the table you may reconcile and get to a situation whereby what you thought initially is a lie is actually not a lie.”
Ngonyama added that the challenges currently facing the institution stem from change. This change brings about fear, anxiety and several other challenges.
UCT Spokesperson Elijah Moholola says it was understood when Lange departed in March, that it was due to personal reasons. However, it was during the recent council meeting that concerns were raised about how the matter was raised.
An ordinary sitting of the council is scheduled for Saturday 15 October 2022. It is expected that Ngonyama will officially table the call for an independent investigation into the matter.
Moholola said two main issues will be evaluated during the sitting. The first will look at the issues around the developments relating to the senate meeting of September where several concerns as to how the proceedings unfolded.
The second issue will focus on the issue between the Chair of Council and the former Deputy vice Chancellor will be discussed.
ShanghaiRanking’s 2022 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) has ranked UCT as the best university in Africa.
This ranking is based on the university’s academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty-to-student ratio, citations per faculty, and international student ratio.