The University of Cape Town (UCT) vice-chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng has been placed on special leave in what is being called part of the drama surrounding her exit from the institution. Her tenure as VC of the institution was reported to have subsisted until the 3rd of March, but the governing council reached a decision on her tenure, and here we are.
The professor was placed on special leave with “immediate effect,” which means she can no longer discharge her duties as VC of the institution the moment the decision for her to proceed on leave was made.
As revealed in a leaked letter, her continued state as vice chancellor of the institution has become untenable, hence the decision to ensure she goes on leave with immediate effect.
Actually, the pressor is cool with leaving. After all, she isn’t exactly exiting her position in disgrace. Also, she would be given all her entitlements, which total about R12 million.
What is unclear at the moment is whether her exit will actually provoke tangible changes at the institution and maintain its position among South Africa’s notable tertiary institutions. At the time of writing, Prof. Phaken herself had said nothing about her special leave.