Bongani Mayosi. Photo: African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Our sincerest and heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and students of Professor Mayosi.

I did not know Prof Mayosi personally, but I wish I had. Since his untimely demise, so much have been written and spoken about him, I feel as if I had known the man all my life.

When the devastating news broke of the tragic death of the young prof, the first thing on my lips, and I assume on everybody’s, was how could this have happened or how did we allow something like this to have happened to a such a beautiful human being?

A person who did so much for humanity and for South Africa.

We should take collective responsibility and be ashamed of ourselves, and now is not the time to shift the blame or invent stories and excuses to cover up for this tragedy.

I must admit, I did not know much about the disease of depression or the goings-on around the prof at UCT, but much more should be done to avoid such tragedies.

But for now and the immediate future, please give the late prof and his family the respect and dignity that they deserve.

Prof Lizette Rabie, whose own son succumbed to this disease, put it so beautifully in her open letter to UCT students when she said “that depression is not a weakness, it is an illness”. Also “the preferred phrase is that the person died from depression”, and not suicide.

May this be an eye-opener to pay more attention to alleviate the plight or shortcomings at our learning institutions and to help to level the playing fields.

On the opposite side of the field, we have the latest depressing survey - City Press wealth index says “the corporate elite is getting whiter than ever”. Already South Africa has the label of being the most unequal society in the world, and it would not be surprising if South Africa havdthe highest rate of depressive illness in the world.

People need to put their differences aside; put their money where their mouths are, and use some of that hugely accumulated wealth for the future of all our children, who are desperate for decent, equal, quality education.

* Mo Noor Joseph, Crawford.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.

Cape Argus