Dear students and colleagues
The University of Cape Town (UCT) is acting urgently and decisively following the conduct of a lecturer who posted messages on Facebook which we view as deeply disturbing.
The lecturer had been removed from teaching prior to the messages he posted.
In accordance with the university’s human resources policy and labour legislation, a pre-suspension meeting took place this afternoon. The staff member involved had the right to attend the meeting with a union member or an employee representative of his choice. This meeting was concluded and the staff member, according to due process, made his representation on why he should not be suspended.
Following the pre-suspension meeting and the representations made, we considered all the information that was presented. We took the decision to proceed with the preliminary investigation into the entire matter with urgency. We also made the decision not to suspend the staff member, but to place him on a compulsory leave of absence on medical grounds. We further determined that the necessary interventions will be made available to support him.
I want to assure staff, students and parents that we are urgently acting on this matter because we recognise its importance. We continuously strive for, and remain committed to, creating and maintaining a climate on campus that is aligned with the values of UCT, which includes upholding the dignity of all people.
The lecturer has the right to a fair process, and we will ensure that relevant labour legislation is followed meticulously.
The necessary support will be made available to anyone who may need it.
Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng
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