UCT chancellor Graça Machel and council chairperson Sipho Pityana with vice-chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng at her robing ceremony. Picture: Michael Hammond/UCT

Cape Town - The University of Cape Town's vice-chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng took to social media, after many people had mixed emotions about the news that EFF leader Julius Malema and Premier Helen Zille were being touted as the next UCT chancellor to replace outgoing chancellor Graça Machel.

On her twitter account, Professor Phakeng said: "To everyone who is sending me messages on some politicians being Chancellor of UCT. Please note that there is a process & no VC appoints a Chancellor. So please let us not waste our valuable time on trivial conversations, when we have so much to do. Thank you very much."

Replying to Phakeng, Mpote Nkwane said: "On a serious note, what is the process and what is the role of the public? I have one dream, to see Phakeng and the outgoing Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi working together. Education is very important to me shame."

When the news hit social media, there were some who were thrilled and talked about the university leadership.

J.a.b.u. Mtsweni wrote: "When I read the story, I thought those who may not understand the process involved in appointing a Chancellor for any university will now doubt your leadership."

Phakeng replied and said: "Oh please Jabu! Anyone who takes twitter nominations seriously, needs to get their brains checked!" 

This was after the university registrar Royston Pillay said Machel’s term was ending this year after first elected in 1999.

Pillay said the chancellor was the titular head of the university and presided at all graduation ceremonies and conferred all degrees and awards in the name of the university.

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Cape Argus