UCT vice-chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng Photo: African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town – UCT’s Campus Protection Services has launched an investigation after the institution’s vice-chancellor, Mamokgethi Phakeng, was threatened while walking from her vehicle yesterday.

The shocked Phakeng took to social media to express her discomfort.

She would not go into detail of how she was threatened, only saying: “My heart is beating fast, I am sweating and angry. Thanks to the person who threatened me this morning as I was walking from my car to my office.

‘‘I refuse to waste UCT money on a driver or bodyguard. Go ahead and do what you want.”

Later she sent out another message saying: “Thank you. My day is not stolen, I am fine and continuing as if nothing ever happened.”

UCT was not able to give more details about the incident, but spokesperson Elijah Moholola said they noted the incident with deep concern.

“The incident has been immediately escalated to the university’s Campus Protection Services (CPS) and is being investigated.

‘‘UCT condemns this incident as we would any safety and security incident involving staff or students on our campuses,” said Moholola.

He said the CPS had measures in place to ensure the safety of all its staff and students on the campus.

“These include uniformed staff patrolling the campus and the appropriate equipment installed to enhance security.

‘‘CPS operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from six service centres on our campuses.”

Moholola added that the CPS had been working with local police to ask for the necessary resources to ensure that staff and students were able to enter and leave the campus safely.

“The devastating reality is that crime is a daily issue for too many South Africans, and UCT is committed to working with the South African Police Service to address the daily realities of crime, but also through our research (on) how we can improve the many aspects related to safety and security.”

Cape Times