UCT to work on restoring public trust

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The University of Cape Town Council (UCT) says it is in the process of taking remedial action to restore public trust in the institution. This is after the council adopted an independent report by a panel led by retired Judge Lex Mpati into past governance failures at the institution between 2018 and 2022.

The report found that the former council chair, Babalwa Ngonyama and former Vice Chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng misled UCT regarding the circumstances of the departure of former deputy vice-chancellor, Lis Lange.

The panel found that Ngonyama, without having the authority, initiated Lange’s termination at a meeting on 3 January 2022. It also found that, Ngonyama and Phakeng, subverted attempts by the Council to investigate the matter.

“The University of Cape Town’s council acknowledges past governance failures and that it did not always serve in the best interest of UCT. We recognise that had council at the time fulfilled its governance role as required, the events that unfolded and emotional trauma caused to many individuals could have been avoided,” says UCT Council Chairperson Advocate Norman Arendse.