‘Aggressive’ students flagged in report on UCT prof’s suicide


‘Aggressive’ students flagged in report on UCT prof’s suicide

Panel says Bongani Mayosi faced hostility on many fronts, questions why his trauma wasn’t caught in time

Senior science reporter

Almost two years after the suicide of Prof Bongani Mayosi, a panel appointed by the University of Cape Town to investigate the dean of health’s tenure has concluded that #FeesMustFall protests were the biggest factor he had to contend with.

A 157-page report by four academics looked at a range of contributing factors but said: “The panel had no hesitation in concluding, from the testimony presented, that the eruption of the #FeesMustFall protests a few days after Professor Mayosi took up his post as dean was the single most influential factor directly and indirectly affecting his deanship”. 

The panel, chaired by UCT’s former senior deputy vice-chancellor, Prof Thandabantu Nhlapo, looked at the role of the protests, faculty dynamics, mental health, Mayosi’s attempts at resignation and redeployment, how the university handled the news of his death, as well as UCT’s institutional culture and its impact on black staff. ..

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