Cape Town- The University of Cape Town will investigate the circumstances related to the death of top African cardiologist Professor Bongani Mayosi who was the Dean of Health Sciences at the institution.
Mayosi committed suicide on the morning of 27 July 2018.
The Black Academic Caucus and the Concerned Academics at UCT in a written letter urged the institution that will “setup an inquiry that will make a thorough investigation of the circumstances leading to Prof Mayosi’s decision to terminate his life. We further propose that this inquiry must be set up on consultation with especially black staff and students, who have on various occasions expressed theirs experiences of being marginalized at UCT”.
UCT responded affirming its commitment to the inquiry stating that “the university recognises that, however deeply distressing the occasion is, the passing of Professor Mayosi provides the space for all within the UCT community to reflect with integrity, honesty and compassion on the loss we have experienced and how we can support each other as individuals and as a community and create caring communities. It is a moment to build the university community”.
Mayosi’s family blamed the #FeesMustFall movement’s personal insults and his unsupportive colleagues at the Health Sciences Faculty for the Professor’s depression. The family urged the university to heed the call by BAC to institute a commission of inquiry regarding Prof Mayosi death.
Speaking at the funeral held at Cape Town’s International Convention Centre on Saturday, UCT Council Chairman Sipho Pityana warned against finger pointing arguing that it is only Professor Mayosi who knew the reasons for taking his own life.
The university did not put into detail how the process would work.