Damning claims of “bullying” and a culture of fear have actually been levelled against high-ranking leaders at the University of Cape Town, most especially vice-chancellor Teacher Mamokgethi Phakeng, opening a can of worms which the UCT council says threatens the university’s “governance and stability”.
In a surprise carry on Thursday, the office of the UCT Ombud Zetu Makamandela-Mguqulwa released its yearly report online, which has been the source of a remarkable leadership legend at the university for months.
The report was published online by the workplace of the Ombud despite legal suggestions, gotten by UCT, that making the report public could cause “permanent and permanent damage to [Phakeng], and to the university”.
This development unfolded less than 2 days before the brand-new UCT council is due to meet for the very first time this Saturday to choose its brand-new leadership for the next four-year regard to office.The internecine
fight started on 27 February, with the draft yearly report by Makamandela-Mguqulwa. The office of the Ombud”offers a safe and unbiased location where individuals can air their concerns, receive referrals, find out about pertinent policies and procedures, and discuss formal and casual alternatives for addressing their issues”. A long list of destructive claims, counter-claims, warnings and attempts to recover senior relationships followed.Included in the Ombud’s report, which covers the duration 1 July 2018 to 30 June
2019, is a foreword in which Phakeng is accused of bullying.”A variety of job-related problems pertained to me throughout this reporting period about
expert interactions with the VC where people felt bullied, silenced, undermined, rebuked and/or treated unjustly,” reads the foreword.The report checked out: Their pain was visible. Some affected bystanders likewise came to express worry and told me how they were affected individually by different occurrences.”My usual approach is to be directed by the visitor on what they wish to attain by bringing the issue to my attention. Not one of those who brought
these issues wanted me to approach the vice-chancellor as they feared retaliation. The spectators said they would not want to experience what they saw first-hand occur to others. What worried me was how the visitors can be found in various capacities however all spoke about the exact same worry.” According to Makamandela-Mguqulwa, lots of UCT-based visitors informed her that this was their experience with Phakeng.”They reported that she utilized words that were experienced as combative and violent– such as’fighting in a ring’and that she, as the VC, would eventually’win while the other is predestined to lose’.
Understanding this was unfolding, I became significantly concerned about a variety of things, including the bullying policy that the university has actually not yet finalised, and the myriad of UCT communications that speak about UCT being a neighborhood,”the Ombud wrote. ‘I am shocked’The Ombud reports to the UCT council, via its chairperson, and her report was duly sent out on to Phakeng on 27 February, as is basic. The UCT council makes up 30 individuals, 60 %of whom are external members, and 40% internal members, including staff and students.Days later, Phakeng composed to the council chair, Sipho Pityana, strongly protesting the content of the Ombud’s report.
Phakeng wrote:” Dear Chair of Council, I am composing to you with 2 issues relating to the report of the Ombud: Phakeng’s issues 1. The process: I am stunned that the Ombud has actually submitted a report, that links the VC, to council and the officer without
giving the VC an opportunity to react to the accusations made in the report. 2. Confidentiality: I am worried that a report wherein I am explicitly mentioned is flowed