The University of Cape Town has placed a lecturer in its Chemical Engineering Department on compulsory leave after he posted a derogatory statement about women on Facebook.

Arthur Mabantsela made an allegedly sexist and criminally disturbing post on Facebook which led to an outcry on social media.

The university says it has held a pre-suspension meeting with Mabentsela and it has also launched a preliminary investigation into the matter.

In a statement, UCT Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng says Mabentsela has been placed on a compulsory leave of absence based on medical grounds. She says the lecturer had already been removed from teaching prior to him posting the messages on Facebook.

Phakeng says Mabentsela made his representations during the pre-suspension meeting according to due process.

She says the matter is still being investigated and UCT is acting urgently and decisively with regards to Mabentsela’s behaviour which the university views as deeply disturbing.