Independent investigation panel

09 February 2023

Dear colleagues and students

The Council of the University of Cape Town (UCT) resolved in October 2022 to establish a panel (the Panel) composed of five independent members to investigate, among others, the following matters:

  1. whether the Vice-Chancellor and the Chair of Council misled Faculty Boards, Senate and/or Council regarding the reasons for the former Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s (Teaching and Learning portfolio) non-availability to serve for a second term; and
  2. all matters related to executive relationships, including the number of, and reasons for resignations of staff within and outside the executive.

The Panel is authorised to interview current and former members of staff and also current and previous members of UCT’s Council. The Panel will approach potential witnesses and encourage witnesses who are able to assist the Panel to avail themselves for this purpose.

Council, at a special meeting on 31 January 2023, amended its previous decision for a panel composed of five members, and reduced the number of members of the Panel to four. This is because the fifth member of the Panel nominated in October 2022 was not available. The four-member Panel was confirmed to be Judge Lex Mpati (chairperson), Judge Azhar Cachalia, Dr Bernadette Johnson and Dr Trish Hanekom.

With the Panel now having been formally constituted, it has commenced its work. The Panel will undertake the task given to it by the UCT Council in accordance with the terms of reference. Members of the UCT community whom the Panel wishes to interview will be contacted directly. Additionally, UCT has appointed Herold Gie Attorneys ( to provide the necessary legal and related support to the Panel.

The Panel will report to the UCT Council at the conclusion of its work. Updates relating to the work of the Panel will be provided from time to time.


Communication and Marketing Department

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