Nzimande requests UCT council for formal report regarding leadership challenges

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Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has written to the council of the University of Cape Town (UCT) requesting a formal report regarding its leadership challenges.

This comes after the UCT’s council resolved to appoint an independent panel to investigate governance issues at the institution.

The department’s Deputy Minister Buti Manamela revealed when he was briefing Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, some challenges that tertiary institutions are facing.

Manamela says action will be taken, depending on the contents of the council’s report.

“The minister has written to the university council, to the chairperson of the council to ask for a report. And it is solely on the basis of that report that the minister will take action. We are still awaiting the report from the university council and we are unable to provide any further report when it relates to this. And I hope that the portfolio committee understands this limitation we have on our part. We are monitoring the situation there. ”


Last month, UCT’s Council urged the university community to allow an investigation into misconduct at the institution to follow due process.

The council voted to establish an independent five member panel to investigate the alleged misconduct of vice-chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng and council chairperson Babalwa Ngonyama.

The allegations centre around the departure of the former deputy vice-chancellor for Learning and Teaching, Associate Professor Lis Lange.

Members of the UCT Council allege that Ngonyama provided false reasons to the Senate for Lange’s departure.

UCT spokesperson Elijah Moholola says, “This investigation will focus on the circumstances related to the departure of a former UCT Deputy Vice-Chancellor, teaching and learning, as well as matters related to executive relationships and resignations within and beyond the UCT executive management team. The work of the independent panel needs to be undertaken urgently so that council receives a report by the end of this year.”

VIDEO: In October, President of the UCT Academics Union, Professor Kelley Moult spoke on the university’s leadership crisis: