Update from Special Council Meeting of 7 November 2022

09 November 2022

Dear members of the UCT community

The University of Cape Town (UCT) Council held a special meeting on Monday, 7 November 2022. Having been elected as the acting Chair for the latter part of this meeting, I write to update you on some of the key outcomes.

As had been the case in the last meeting, the Chair of Council Ms Babalwa Ngonyama – who still holds this role – recused herself from the meeting. The Deputy Chair, Ms Pheladi Gwangwa, opened the meeting and then gave notice that she would withdraw from further participation in the meeting.

Council also received notice of resignation from Council by two members – Ms Zama Khanyile and Ms Kholiwe Makhohliso. Council thanks Ms Khanyile and Ms Makhohliso for their contribution and the support given to UCT, and wishes them well.

Given that the Chair and Deputy Chair of Council were not present at the meeting, interim chairing arrangements as provided for in the Statute were invoked and pursuant thereto Council elected an acting Chair, Ms Tshidi Mokgabudi, who chaired the meeting until just after 22:00. She then indicated that Council members should not proceed further given that the meeting had gone beyond five hours into the night and beyond the scheduled time, and she requested that it be adjourned to continue the next day. The meeting had been scheduled from 17:00 to 21:00.

Following the request by the acting Chair to adjourn, after the five hours that the meeting had been in session, a majority decision was taken via a vote to continue the meeting. Individual members who had indicated that they would prefer that the meeting adjourns, including the acting Chair, then exited the meeting.

As the meeting continued to be quorate, another acting Chair was elected and the meeting continued.

Council took two substantive decisions. Firstly, it approved terms of reference for an investigation panel in order to give effect to the 15 October 2022 Council resolution to constitute such a panel. Secondly, it approved a panel of five members and a panel Chair. These details will be communicated once the panellists have confirmed acceptance of their appointment.

The meeting was adjourned just after 01:00 on 8 November 2022, with a further resolution to reconvene within seven days to deal with the remaining agenda items.

Council notes that the acting Chair arrangements for the meeting of 7 November 2022 were for purposes of the meeting and in the circumstances that arose, and recognises that Ms Ngonyama remains the substantive Chair of Council.

Council recognises the challenging times that currently prevail and requests that the UCT community exercises care and patience at this time.

With appreciation

Marlene le Roux
Acting Chair of UCT Council

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