Monday, October 10, 2022

UCT boiled in governance issues at the institution

University of Cape Town chancellor Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe says she’s been briefed by the university on the governance crisis at the institution.

This follows a meeting of the University Senate, late September, a Special Council meeting on Thursday and a statement issued on Friday by concerned members of the UCT Council.

In the statement, 13 members of council said they are distancing themselves from a "flawed" and irregular process at a special meeting where a motion into an independent investigation by a retired judge was blocked.

"UCT is committed to global best practices relating to governance, transparency, ethics and accountability," said Moloi-Motsepe.

"Within the context of my titular and ceremonial responsibilities as chancellor, I’ve been engaging with various internal and external stakeholders to ensure that the respect and credibility that UCT enjoys globally, as an academic institution that upholds the highest standards of governance, transparency, ethics and accountability is maintained and enhanced.”

"I will continue to engage with the leadership and other internal and external stakeholders of the University in relation to the current governance challenges at the university."

Meanwhile, UCT council chairperson Babalwa Ngonyama will once again call for an independent investigation into the issues at the university.   In a statement released on Saturday evening, Ngonyama said she would ask the council to reconsider its decision.

Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande has requested a formal report from the University of Cape Town council about fallout between key university structures.

The DA wrote to the chairperson of the parliamentary portfolio committee on higher education, Nompendulo Thobile Mkhatshwa, to request that the chair of council and the chair of senate at the University of Cape Town (UCT) should appear in Parliament.

The opposition party’s Shadow Minister of Higher Education, Chantel King, wants The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng, and chairperson of council, Babalwa Ngonyama, to account to Parliament over the governance crisis that has engulfed the university in recent days.

‘’We hope the portfolio committee chair regards this meeting as very crucial and urgently makes contact with the university to send through a report with documentary evidence on this matter.’’

‘’Transformation is key for any institution with a diverse student enrolment and profile, innovative curricula and cutting-edge research. Transformation should create stability in the administration of the university towards an established identity and unique purpose and should not be at the cost of quality teaching and learning and exclusionary approach. This can only be achieved through cooperation and a conducive academic environment,’’ added King.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

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