UCT vice-chancellor Phakeng admitted to hospital amid governance crisis

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
University of Cape Town vice-chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng is seen during an interview. (Esa Alexander, Gallo Images, Sunday Times, file)
University of Cape Town vice-chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng is seen during an interview. (Esa Alexander, Gallo Images, Sunday Times, file)
  • UCT vice-chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng was admitted to hospital and given time to recover from stress.
  • The university held a special urgent council meeting on Tuesday evening, where the council was informed of Phakeng's illness.
  • Phakeng is under increasing pressure after the UCT council voted to appoint an independent panel to probe allegations of misconduct against her and the council chair.

The University of Cape Town (UCT) announced that vice-chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng was admitted to hospital and given time off from her duties.

Phakeng is receiving medical attention and was given time to recuperate from stress.

UCT's council was informed at a special meeting on Tuesday night.

Council chairperson Babalwa Ngonyama said: "Given the stress, the vice-chancellor has been under, this time away from the office will also serve to give her a bit of rest."

Tuesday's council meeting appointed deputy vice-chancellor Professor Elelwani Ramugondo as acting VC.

She said:

Along with the UCT senior leadership team, I have no doubt that the university is in capable hands during the vice-chancellor's absence. The university council is united in stabilising the situation and is concerned for Professor Phakeng's health.

Phakeng is under increasing pressure after the UCT council voted to appoint a retired judge and independent panel to probe allegations of misconduct against her and Ngonyama.

At the heart of the probe was whether Phakeng and Ngonyama misled the university's executive and Senate about the reasons for the departure of the deputy vice-chancellor for teaching and learning, Associate Professor Lis Lange. They said Lange resigned for personal reasons, while Lange claims she was pushed.

READ | Deputy chairperson Gwangwa threatens to quit, turns to courts over 'illegal' council meeting

The university is yet to make a formal announcement about the independent probe.

UCT spokesperson Elijah Moholola told News24 the university council is continuing to work on the process of setting up an independent panel as per the resolution taken in October.

"This process is ongoing. Council will give an update on this process as and when there are further developments," he said. 

News24 understands retired Supreme Court of Appeal president Lex Mpati is expected to chair the probe alongside two retired  judges, Sisi Khampepe and Azhar Cachalia.

Governance expert Trish Hanekom and Wits head of transformation Bernadette Johnson have also been asked to join the panel.



We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What are your thoughts on the possibility of having permanent Stage 2 or 3 load shedding?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
I'll take that over constant schedule changes
13% - 653 votes
Why are we normalising Eskom’s mess?
72% - 3520 votes
I've already found alternative ways of powering my home/business
15% - 750 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.20
-0.1%
Rand - Pound
21.30
-0.0%
Rand - Euro
18.70
-0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
12.22
-0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.0%
Platinum
1,012.08
0.0%
Palladium
1,618.86
0.0%
Gold
1,928.39
0.0%
Silver
23.60
0.0%
Brent Crude
86.66
-0.9%
Top 40
74,766
+0.4%
All Share
80,791
+0.4%
Resource 10
77,871
-0.4%
Industrial 25
103,872
+0.7%
Financial 15
16,281
+0.6%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE