Update on Leadership Lekgotla roles

18 January 2023

Dear colleagues and students

I write to share updates in relation to three Leadership Lekgotla roles: the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC): Teaching and Learning (T&L), the Dean of the Faculty of Science, and the Executive Director: Human Resources (ED: HR).

DVC: Teaching and Learning

Professor Harsha Kathard took up the role as acting DVC: T&L in May 2022 and her term was to end on 31 December 2022. At an ordinary meeting held in October 2022, Council approved the extension of her acting term to 30 June 2023.

In the seven months she has been in the role so far, Professor Kathard has made a massive contribution to the portfolio and has been a great addition to the UCT senior leadership team. I have no doubt she will continue doing exceptionally well in this role for the benefit of the university.

Further updates on the process of appointing a substantive DVC: T&L will follow in due course.

Dean: Faculty of Science

I also wish to announce that Professor Maano Ramutsindela, the Dean of the Faculty of Science, has requested to step down from this role at the end of June 2023 due to personal reasons. Professor Ramutsindela took up his position on 1 March 2019, and his exceptional contribution has been evident in the period he has been at the helm.

It goes without saying that given his wealth of expertise, it would have been desirable to have Professor Ramutsindela serving for a longer period as Dean of Science. However, we understand and respect his decision to step down from this role. We thank Professor Ramutsindela for the leadership role he provided to the faculty and hope to continue benefiting from his experience and insights in the five months while he remains in the role.

The process of appointing a new Dean of Science will get underway, with an intention of concluding it prior to Professor Ramutsindela’s departure.

Executive Director: Human Resources

In April 2022, I advised the university community that the ED: HR, Ms Miriam Hoosain had volunteered to be a participant in the Executive Transformation Initiative (ETI). Subsequently, Mr Bongani Ndaba was appointed as acting ED: HR from 1 May 2022.

For continuity purposes, Mr Ndaba’s acting tenure has been extended to 30 June 2023. We thank Mr Ndaba for the contribution he has made in this role and for agreeing to hold the fort for an extended period.

The selection process for the position is currently underway and the position is expected to be filled in due course.

Ms Hoosain will take early retirement on 31 January 2023. We appreciate the critical contribution she has made since taking up this role in January 2011. Her hard work, tireless efforts and innovative approach has helped make the complex HR department one of the most efficient. We also appreciate Ms Hoosain’s selfless gesture in being the first volunteer in the ETI project, which will contribute to UCT meeting its transformation and employment equity goals at executive level.

We will, at a later and appropriate stage, get an opportunity to thank and acknowledge both Ms Hoosain and Professor Ramutsindela fully for the work they have done and will continue to do in their remaining time at UCT. We are also pleased to have the opportunity to continue benefiting from the incumbency of both Professor Kathard and Mr Ndaba in their roles.


Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

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