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UCT lecturer behind disturbing Facebook posts 'receiving medical attention'

Arthur Mabentsela made sexist and criminally disturbing comments in which he, among other things, admits to having wanted to rape and kill his two-year-old daughter while suffering from depression.

UCT lecturer Arthur Mabentsela. Picture: Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - The University of Cape Town (UCT) lecturer whose disturbing posts on Facebook caught the public's attention is "receiving the necessary professional medical attention".

This is according to UCT's vice-chancellor, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, who posted an update on the university's actions with regards to the situation after it was flooded by complaints from outraged social media users.

In some of his Facebook posts, Arthur Mabentsela made sexist and criminally disturbing comments in which he, among other things, admits to having wanted to rape and kill his two-year-old daughter while suffering from depression.

In the social media rant, Mabentsela also berated female students for not being attracted to nerds at school.

"As the executive of the University of Cape Town, we have noted the interest from members of the UCT community but also the wider public in the matter. Reactions ranged from comments expressing the view that the staff member should be fired immediately, to others expressing concern for his condition and the hope that he would receive appropriate support in his time of need," Phakeng said.

"As I wrote before, we made a decision not to suspend the lecturer, but to place him on a compulsory leave of absence on medical grounds. We further determined that the necessary interventions will be made available to support him."

The vice-chancellor added the preliminary investigation into the matter was not set up as a punitive measure, but merely as a preliminary step where its committee looks into the incident (and all relevant aspects) to ascertain whether there is a case to face and what charges, if any, should be formulated.

"Clearly, it is important for any employee involved in such a step, and for the committee itself, that the person is fully fit to participate. Hence I have put this process on hold until I am assured that the lecturer has received the full benefit of good medical care and is able to participate in his full capacity."

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