Former VC’s early retirement from UCT

17 April 2023

Dear members of the UCT community

I write to you as an update to my confidential internal memorandum issued on 24 February 2023 when I informed you that former Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng would take early retirement from the position effective 3 March 2023.

As you also know, Council then appointed an interim vice-chancellor following the required consultation with the Senate and the Institutional Forum.

Following her early retirement from the position of vice-chancellor on 3 March 2023, Professor Phakeng remained in the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) employment as professor in the School of Education, to retire on 30 March 2024. However, she has since elected to take early retirement as a professor in the school. The early retirement took effect as from 1 April 2023.

Council has noted Professor Phakeng’s departure from UCT.

We have also noted with concern the allegations concerning the university and its Council in a number of media engagements by the former vice-chancellor and the university is taking legal advice on what its rights are in respect of those allegations.

The UCT Council continues giving attention to its governance role and to supporting the interim vice-chancellor and his team in leading and managing the university.

The second academic term commenced recently and Council is confident that all of UCT’s stakeholders, internal and external, will continue to support our institution, and especially our students and staff in the discharge of the academic mission of the university.


Babalwa Ngonyama, CA (SA), MBA
Chair of UCT Council

Read previous communications:

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Please view the republishing articles page for more information.