The Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command (EFFSC) in the Western Cape has expressed concern about the apparent challenges facing former University of Cape Town (UCT) vice-chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, citing a targeted campaign against black academics in senior positions at the institution.
A spokesperson for EFFSC Ntokozo Mahlangu emphasises the need for addressing institutional racism within UCT and advocates for concerted efforts to confront the systemic barriers faced by black leadership in academia.
Following recent developments, including a damning UCT report accusing Phakeng and council chairperson Babalwa Ngonyama of serious governance failures, Phakeng has announced its intention to explore legal options, citing inaccuracies and potential reputational damage.
Mahlangu provides historical context for the challenges facing Phakeng, highlighting similar experiences of her predecessors, and reinforcing the critical need to foster an inclusive and transformative environment at UCT.
“The issue of institutional racism must be actively confronted within UCT, and the targeted campaign against black academics in leadership positions must be addressed with urgency. Phakeng, like her predecessors, has faced unwarranted challenges and systemic barriers, including isolation and undermining, as she works tirelessly to champion transformation within the university. Despite the adversities, Phakeng remains resolute and resilient, demonstrating unwavering political will in her efforts to advance the imperative of transformation,” states Mahlangu.
Phakeng welcomes probe into misconduct allegations against her: