UCT expected to announce Prof Moshabela as new VC

Professor Mosa Moshabela has been selected to take over the helm of Africa’s top-ranked university.

Professor Mosa Moshabela has been selected to take over the helm of Africa’s top-ranked university.

Published May 17, 2024


UCT is expected to formally announce the appointment of its vice-chancellor (VC) after it emerged that Professor Mosa Moshabela has been selected to take over the helm of Africa’s top-ranked university.

This is after UCT’s council met on Wednesday evening to make their decision on the final shortlist of three candidates.

The candidates running for the position along with Moshabela were Professor Nellie Nosisi Feza, deputy vice-chancellor (DVC) for research and postgraduate studies at the University of Venda, and Professor José Frantz, DVC for research and innovation at UWC.

Council's decision comes after Moshabela, the current DVC for research and innovation at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, received 89% approvals from the Senate’s recent meeting.

According to his CV sent to the selection committee, Moshabela holds a substantive position of full professor in Public Health at UKZN and from 2021 to date has been the faculty member at the HIV, Infectious Disease and Global Health Implementation Research Institute (HIGHIRI) at Washington University in the US.

The esteemed academic, clinician scientist is also a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf).

He is the board chairperson of the National Research Foundation and a recipient of the 2020–2021 Ministerial Special Covid-19 Award for Covid-19 science communication and public engagement.

UCT spokesperson Elijah Moholola would only say that the recruitment process for the appointment of the university’s vice-chancellor was ongoing.

“This process, like all other recruitment and selection processes, is governed by confidentiality. UCT will therefore provide further updates in due course, once all processes have been concluded,” he said.

The university began the search for a new VC last year and applications for the position closed on January 31.

The position became vacant after the departure of Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, who allegedly received a golden handshake worth R12 million following a long battle over governance issues.

Professor Daya Reddy has been the interim vice-chancellor for the past 14 months.

A selection committee including UCT council chairperson Norman Arendse, four external council members, two deans elected by the Senate, and two employment equity representatives elected by the chairperson and co-chairpersons of the institutional forum reached the final shortlist of three candidates by March 28.

“We are keen on getting on board a leader who will intellectually contribute and help strengthen our position of being the number one university in Africa and who will ensure that UCT continues to contribute towards addressing complex and critical challenges facing our country, our continent and the world at large,” Arendse has said.

Cape Times