New UCT Vice-Chancellor: “We Have to Work at Being The Best FOR Africa”
New UCT vice-chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng wants to ensure students' issues are heard.
Incoming vice-chancellor of the University of Cape Town, Mamokgethi Phakeng believes the institution will stand out if it becomes "unapologetically African."
"I like saying that UCT is the best university in Africa. We have got to keep that, but more than that, we have got to work at being the best for Africa."
Phakeng, who will take over current vice-chancellor Max Price in July, is the second black woman to hold the position in the institution's history.
In the interview with News24, Phakeng said that the university should have had a conversation about colonial statues before the Rhodes Must Fall movement.
The RMF is a student body that took it upon themselves in 2015 to try decolonize the university. The first step was seeing the statue of colonialist Cecil John Rhodes removed from the institution's premises.
Phakeng says even though she disagrees with students' methods (which included damaging property) to try decolonize the university, she fully understands their struggles.
Phakeng says to ensure protests of that kind don't happen again, she wants to ensure students' issues are being heard.
You can read Phakeng's full interview with News24 here.