Message from the Dean

13 Sep 2019 - 09:45

Dear Students and Staff,

It’s has been a week since UCT commemorated the life of Uyinene “Nene” Mrwetyana in protest, song, and word, and it is important that we all take time to reflect on these and other recent events.

The brutal murders of Nene and other women in South Africa have shaken the UCT community to its core. These tragedies, combined with the ongoing xenophobic attacks, are highlighting the pervasiveness of violence in South Africa, especially against those who are more marginalised or perceived as “others”, and especially against women.

The Science Faculty is deeply disturbed by this violence, and is concerned about how it affects our students, our staff, our visitors and our families. The Faculty is committed to providing an environment that is inclusive and free of violence, discrimination, harassment and bullying for everyone. We are committed to providing this safe environment regardless of gender or country of origin, but also race, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, age, mental or physical health, HIV-status, political opinion or religion.

As scientists, we know that our value is in our diversity. This is true not only because it enriches us culturally, but also because diversity makes for better science. Diverse teams bring a wide range of lived experiences, and therefore ask and answer a wide range of questions. This gives us more scientific certainty that our results and conclusions are accurate.

The Faculty recognises that every one of us has a different lived experience that informs the way we are affected by, engage with, and respond to the recent tragedies. We value that diversity, and urge you to recognise these differences, assist each other, and seek support when needed during this difficult time.

Warm Regards,
Maano Ramutsindela
Dean: Science

Important numbers for emergencies, help and support for staff and students:
Campus Protection Services
24-hour toll-free number: 080 650 2222

24/7 Immediate medical assistance or advice following a rape and/or sexual assault, please call, SMS or send a missed call to the standby number: 072 393 7824. Survivors can also contact Rashieda Khan on 021 650 3530 or email

OIC: 021 650 3530. Sexual and gender-based violence and discrimination can also be reported through OIC’s online reporting tool

Students: SADAG UCT Student Careline (0800 24 25 26), which is free from a Telkom line, or SMS 31393 for a callback. This line offers 24/7 telephonic counselling, advice, referral facilities and general mental health support.


1. ICAS toll-free number: 0801 113 945 from a Telkom line
(available 24 hours a day) or send USSD code *134*905# to request a callback.

2. SADAG toll-free number: 0800 171 171 from a Telkom line
(available 24 hours a day) or send an SMS to 31393 to request a callback, or email for a counsellor to call you back.