UCT decides not to suspend staff member who allegedly posted on Facebook about wanting to kill his child

The University of Cape Town (UCT) has decided not to suspend the staff member who allegedly posted on Facebook that he wanted to rape and kill his 2-year-old child while he was suffering from depression.

Vice-chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng said that following a pre-suspension meeting which was held on Wednesday it was decided the lecturer be placed on a compulsory leave of absence on medical grounds. 

"We further determined that the necessary interventions will be made available to support him," Phakeng said.

She added that the lecturer had been removed from teaching before he posted the messages. 

Read: UCT acts against staff member who allegedly posted on Facebook about wanting to kill child, 2

"The staff member involved had the right to attend the meeting with a union member or an employee representative of his choice," Phakeng said. 

She said the staff member made his representations on why he should not be suspended, and all the information presented would be considered.  

Right to a fair process

"We took the decision to proceed with the preliminary investigation into the entire matter with urgency," Phakeng said. 

Phakeng has assured staff, students and parents that the university would urgently act on the matter because it recognised its importance.

Also read: UCT academics call for inquiry into Professor Mayosi's death

"We continuously strive for, and remain committed to, creating and maintaining a climate on campus that is aligned with the values of UCT, which includes upholding the dignity of all people," she said. 

Phakeng added that the lecturer had the right to a fair process, and that the university would ensure that relevant labour legislation is followed meticulously.  

She said while the process is followed, necessary support would also be made available to anyone who may need it.