Cape Town fire donations and other updates

26 October 2018 | Campus Announcement

Dear students and colleagues

This campus announcement aims to inform members of the University of Cape Town community about:

1. Donations for those affected by Cape Town fires

Devastating fires over the past week have consumed the homes of thousands of people in various areas around Cape Town. Besides their homes, these individuals lost all their possessions, from clothes to school books and food. UCT has put out an appeal for donations, no matter how small. A number of sites around the university have been allocated as drop-off points.

2. Completing a declaration of interests form

Every year staff members at universities around the country must make a full declaration of their financial interests and fiduciary roles and those of their immediate family members. This is a requirement of the Higher Education Act (101 of 1997), the UCT Council’s policy and Council’s rules on conflict of interest. Staff members are urged to complete the HR130 disclosure form by no later than 7 November 2018.

3. Feedback from the latest Council meeting

The UCT Council met on Saturday, 13 October 2018, and had discussions on a number of key matters.

4. Restoring ancestors to their home

Authentic transformation is about celebrating UCT’s proudest moments, but also acknowledging past errors and trying to make amends.

During a recent archiving audit of the university’s Human Skeletal Collection, it was discovered that 11 of the skeletons were obtained unethically in the 1920s. UCT is working with the community of Sutherland in the Northern Cape to return the skeletal remains of nine of these people to their descendants.

UCT hopes that the public participation process that has begun will restore the dignity that was stolen from them during their lifetimes and give their descendants the opportunity to remember and honour their ancestors.

5. Latest executive appointments

Mr Richard van Huyssteen has been appointed as the new executive director of Information and Communication Technology Services. He will commence in this role on 1 November 2018.

Professor Carolyn Williamson has been appointed as the interim dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, effective 1 October 2018.

6. Latest edition of UCT News now available

The October edition of UCT News includes articles on a major advance in the fight against TB, an overview of the UCT academics who shone at the National Research Foundation (NRF) awards, and the panel discussions, art installations, film screenings and Pride march held to celebrate Rainbow Week. The edition also highlights UCT’s recently introduced gender-neutral titles as part of the new Inclusivity Policy for Sexual Orientation.


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UCT Sutherland Reburial

After an archiving audit of the UCT Human Skeletal Collection in 2017, the university discovered that it had 11 skeletons in its collection that were unethically obtained by the institution in the 1920s. The university has acknowledged this past injustice, which forms part of its history. Nine of these individuals were brought to the university in the 1920s from Sutherland in the Northern Cape. UCT is working with the community of Sutherland to return the skeletal remains of these nine individuals to their descendants. An interdisciplinary team of academics from UCT and two international partner institutions have conducted unprecedented scientific studies. This process has enabled the university to provide redress and social justice through science.

On 26 November 2023, remains of the nine individuals were reburied in Sutherland. Read the latest news.

Read about the Sutherland reburial in November 2023

Using archaeology to correct injustice UCT archaeologist Emeritus Associate Professor Simon Hall reflects on his contribution to the repatriation, reburial and restorative justice work done at Kruisrivier. 04 Nov 2019
Restoring dignity through forensic art Kathryn Smith, a South African pursuing a PhD in forensic art in the UK, added her facial reconstruction expertise to the multidisciplinary Sutherland project team. 04 Nov 2019
‘We knew their names’ Ancient DNA analyses have identified nine sets of unethically sourced San and Khoe skeletal remains found in UCT’s archive, paving the way for their repatriation to Sutherland. 04 Nov 2019
Breathing life into history Professor Nigel Pennʼs expertise in the blood-soaked history of the Northern Cape made him a critical roleplayer in a restitution project of historical relevance. 04 Nov 2019

04 Nov 2019

Announcements to the UCT campus community