UCT RE­SPONDS

CityPress - - News -

This is an edited re­sponse to our story from UCT’s Pat Lu­cas, man­ager: com­mu­ni­ca­tions and me­dia li­ai­son.

It is sim­ply not the case that UCT “needs bright tal­ent like Mpongo, and seems will­ing to go so far as to for­give him prac­ti­cally any­thing just to be able to say it has this young black star to prove that it is not a racist institution”. Mr Mpongo was charged and found guilty on four se­ri­ous charges and a sanc­tion was im­posed; he was not, and has not been, for­given.

Mr Mpongo was charged un­der the UCT stu­dent code and found guilty of sex­ual ha­rass­ment, sex­ual as­sault and in­ter­fer­ing with the com­plainant in this case in such a way as to cre­ate an in­tim­i­dat­ing, hos­tile or de­mean­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

The univer­sity’s Stu­dent Dis­ci­pline Tri­bunal expelled Mr Mpongo, but sus­pended the ex­pul­sion on two con­di­tions: that he com­pletes 65 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice and that he does not com­mit any fur­ther of­fence while a stu­dent at UCT.

A no-con­tact or­der was served on Oc­to­ber 9 2015, three days af­ter the com­plainant ap­plied for it, and a dis­ci­plinary case fol­lowed.

UCT takes the ques­tion of gen­der violence se­ri­ously – but that is not to say that we have suc­ceeded in elim­i­nat­ing the prob­lem on cam­pus.

The dis­crim­i­na­tion and ha­rass­ment of­fice has a spe­cific man­date to help stu­dents and staff mem­bers to bet­ter understand and change at­ti­tudes to­wards gen­der dis­crim­i­na­tion, sex­ual ha­rass­ment, other forms of ha­rass­ment, do­mes­tic violence and rape; it pro­vides a coun­selling and me­di­a­tion ser­vice and sup­ports vic­tims through dis­ci­plinary pro­cesses. We also have a 24-hour whis­tle-blower hot­line.

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