The family of the late Professor Bongani Mayosi, did not want to comment on the findings of a report into the circumstances that lead to his death. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency
(ANA)
The family of the late Professor Bongani Mayosi, did not want to comment on the findings of a report into the circumstances that lead to his death. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Call for UCT to probe its staff culture after release of Mayosi report

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Jun 25, 2020

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Cape Town - The family of the late Professor Bongani Mayosi, the then Dean of Health Sciences at UCT, who committed suicide in July 2018, did not want to comment on the findings of a report into the circumstances that lead to his death.

At the time of his death, pressure from #FeesMustFall students on him to take sides, coupled with a history of depression, was blamed for his suicide.

However, the report did not apportion blame but referred to his history of depression. It said his affliction should have been picked up at the university and addressed by the executive.

His sister, Ncumisa Mayosi, confirmed that she saw the report, but did not want to comment. Nomavenda Mathiane, a family relative, said she was happy there was an investigation and “I hope the world will get to know what happened”.

The 139-page report is “Enquiry into the Circumstances Surrounding Professor Bongani Mayosi’s Tenure: Crucible for Senior Black Academic Staff?” It reveals the sentiments of those who were for and those who were against the investigation.

A statement about his death in 2018, UCT said: “In the last two years he battled with depression and took the desperate decision to end his life.”

The report included a factual record and a timeline of events from Mayosi’s appointment as health sciences dean to the time of his death.

The Black Academic Caucus (BAC) at UCT was calling for the investigation. They and the Concerned Staff Collective said they were grateful for the work of the commissioners that had led to the report. According to the report, the university needed to probe its institutional culture and how it treated black staff, in particular.

The report revealed some saw the enquiry as a waste of time.

UCT’s registrar and secretary to council, Royston Pillay, said the council resolved to accept the report.

The panel has made 10 recommendations, which included “institutional arrangements and support for the Faculty of Health Sciences and its leadership”.

@SISONKE_MD

[email protected]

Cape Argus

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