The panel that probed the circumstances around the tragic death of the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town, Professor Bongani Mayosi has released their report.
It also reveals the sentiments of those who were for and those who were against the investigation.
Mayosi committed suicide on the 27th of July 2018.
The panel started to investigate the matter in September 2018 following a resolution by the Council of the University of Cape Town.
The report says, “A simple look at the terms in which the demand for an inquiry were couched, revealed the depth of feeling among the stakeholders. This was confirmed by the interviews that the panel conducted. These feelings ranged from a wish that Professor Mayosi’s passing should occasion a process of deep introspection by the university as to its institutional culture and how it treated black staff in particular.”
The report also says some saw the enquiry as a waste of time.
“On the other side of the fence, there were some strong views expressed that the inquiry was ‘a waste of time and money’ set up primarily to pander to those who wished to see the university being blamed for everything that happened.”
According to the panel’s report, the council’s resolution to probe Professor Mayosi’s death followed pressure from his family, student representatives and various staff formations.
According to the report, “From the outset, the panel understood the enormity, sensitivity and complexity of the task. The panel met with the family to brief them on the task, and to solicit their understanding of the confidentiality element of the terms of reference, especially what it would mean to them in practical terms. The family’s guidance was very helpful in this respect.”
The panel has made ten recommendations to the institution. One of the recommendations refers to the “Memorialisation and Preservation of Professor Mayosi’s Legacy”.
“As part of dealing with the tragedy in a positive, creative and sustainable manner, there is a need to memorialise Professor Bongani Mayosi in a manner befitting his stature, his contribution to the university as well as his transformative scholarship and excellence”.
It further says “such memorialisation could include scholarships, memorial lectures or renaming of new or old buildings after him. In this manner, Professor Mayosi’s tragic death, which became a symbol of pain and division, could be transformed into a positive memorial to black academic excellence and sustainable transformation. Such a symbolic recognition will also assist UCTs own journey of transformation and reconciliation”.