Call for justice after release of Professor Mayosi suicide report
Cape Town - The Black Academic Caucus (BAC) at UCT and a group called Concerned UCT Staff are calling for justice for the late Professor Bongani Mayosi, who committed suicide.
The groups said urgent steps should be taken to address concerns raised in the report into the circumstances that led to Mayosi’s death, saying they should include well-resourced and properly staffed “infrastructures of care” that would help with the early detection of mental health problems, offer decisive interventions, and promote the general wellness of staff and students.
This comes five months after UCT released the findings of a panel of an independent inquiry, established to look into the tenure and death of Mayosi, dean of the faculty of health sciences, who took his own life during a battle with depression in 2018.
In its 157-page report, the panel – chaired by former deputy vice-chancellor Professor Thandabantu Nhlapo – criticised UCT’s handling of the news of Mayosi’s death, calling it “on the whole, poor, fragmented and, on occasion, ill-considered”.
The BAC also called for the creation of a public forum to address the report, a clear plan detailing how and when UCT would implement the recommendations stipulated by the commissioners, and the establishment of a task team to monitor the implementation of the recommendations and take the lead in devising carefully considered strategies and methodologies.
Student representative council chairperson Declan Dyer said it supported the call for the interventions recommended by the “Mayosi Report” to be implemented without delay.
UCT spokesperson Elijah Moholola said the university leadership continued to attend to the Mayosi panel’s recommendations and other reports which raised similar issues.