UCT chooses not to suspend lecturer after #MenAreTrash Facebook post

uct lecturer facebook post suspend ian barbour flickr cc by sa

UCT on Wednesday announced that it will not suspend a chemical engineering lecturer who published a “deeply disturbing” post to Facebook earlier this week.

The post, which was was republished by a student to Twitter on Tuesday afternoon, slammed women for their role in the #MenAreTrash movement. The lecturer also admitted to thinking about raping and killing his two-year-old daughter in a post comment.

UCT lecturer’s ‘disgusting’ Facebook post slams women for #MenAreTrash

UCT is again coming under fire on social media after a lecturer took to Facebook to criticise women for the #MenAreTrash movement, and confessing to having thoughts about raping his two-year-old daughter. Read more…

The subsequent tweet received more than 1700 retweets and 2600 comments, with many respondents calling for the lecturer to be fired.

However, UCT’s vice chacellor Prof. Mamokgethi Phakeng has announced that the institution will not suspend the academic, making reference the lecturer’s admission of depression.

“We also made the decision not to suspend the staff member, but to place him on a compulsory leave of absence on medical grounds,” Phakeng wrote in a statement.

“We further determined that the necessary interventions will be made available to support him.”

UCT assured students that the “lecturer had been removed from teaching prior to the messages he posted” and that support would be made available to “anyone who may need it”.

Comments from those on UCT’s Facebook page however wholly disagreed with the decision.

THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE. Medical grounds?! Wanting to rape your daughter is not grounds for medical leave,” wrote one Facebook user.

Raping a minor child, thoughts of doing so has nothing to do with mental illness, it never has and it never will. There is a difference between moral corruption and mental illness,” penned another.

Twitter users also aired their views.

“This is just evidence once again that institutionalism will always win. Our institutions care more about protecting their image than the well being of students,” one user wrote on the social network.

While depression has come to the fore in recent weeks, especially at UCT, rape culture continues to be a major issue across South Africa’s campuses and the country as a whole.

In July, UCT Professor Bongani Mayosi committed suicide after it was revealed that he was battling with depression.

Earlier this month, third-year Rhodes University student Khensani Maseko ended her life after she was raped.

Feature image: Ian Barbour via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0, cropped)

Andy Walker, former editor


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