Phakeng: UCT failed Bongani Mayosi

Mayosi, who was the dean of Health Sciences at UCT and a top cardiologist, committed suicide last week after a long battle with depression.

FILE: Professor Bongani Mayosi. Picture: @Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - University of Cape Town Vice Chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng believes that the university failed world-renowned scholar Bongani Mayosi, who died after having taken his own life.

Mayosi, who was the dean of Health Sciences at UCT and a top cardiologist, committed suicide last week after a long battle with depression.

Phakeng says that during the #FeesMustFall demonstrations, Mayosi engaged with both disgruntled students and staff but received criticism from both sides.

She says that some of his colleagues accused him of being a sell-out, while students demanded that he deliver on their demands.

"Towards the end of 2016, when he wasn't delivering, students were getting upset. I remember that we came out of a senate meeting one day and he was called a 'coconut' and a 'sell-out'. He then got depressed and was off work for three months."

She says he also received backlash from management after participating in a march.

"He went on a march with the students and that was a problem for some people in the senior leadership. Now you've a situation where the staff are saying 'you're throwing us under the bus'. The students are saying these are the demands. Now he's got a situation with the fallout with some of his seniors at management level."