Cape Town – UCT Vice Chancellor has once again blamed the Fees Must Fall movement for having contributed in the stressors that led to the Dean of Health Sciences ending his life on Friday morning.
Phakeng made these remarks in her address to the UCT Medical School on Monday morning.
She said that the occupation of his office and being labeled a ‘sellout’ and a ‘coconut’ during the protests may have pushed him to the edge. The newly appointed Vice Chancellor made similar claims against the movement in a press conference on Sunday afternoon.
Phakeng spoke at length on the pressures that black academics face between the protest line and the boardroom. She said that the protest line expected her as a black person to sympathize with the cause while the boardroom had its own demands.
Rhodes Must Fall and Fees Must Fall student leader Chumani Maxwele criticized Phakeng’s views saying that the institutional culture of the university alienates black people including the staff. Maxwele argued that the death of Professor Mayosi should not be viewed in isolation from the prevalence of suicides amongst blacks students in this university. Maxwele said that the only thing the movement did was to lobby the Professor for the position of Dean in order to push forward the transformation project. His views are shared by many former activists of the movement who have take to social media to express their feelings about Phakeng’s comments which they have described as insensitive and anti-African mourning etiquette.
Mayosi will be buried on Saturday 04 August.
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