Cape Town – UCT has confirmed that Arthur Mabentsela, the chemical engineering lecturer who reportedly made derogatory comments about women on social media and said he had had thoughts of raping his two-year-old daughter as a result of depression, is no longer employed by institution.
In August last year, following Facebook posts in which he attacked the #MenAreTrash movement and made the disturbing comments, Mabentsela was placed on medical leave.
In one post he said: “It was not me who did not teach you how to attract and retain a quality man. For some of you trash attraction runs in the family. Ask your mother how to teach you how to attract a real man. Close your legs and open your ears.”
When someone commented on the post and said men who sexually abused women and children were “trash”, Mabentsela replied: “Some of these men are suffering from depression….
"When I was depressed I had thoughts of raping my own 2-year-old. I saw nothing in her. There was no love.”
UCT spokesperson Elijah Moholola said: “Please note that the staff member referred to is no longer a UCT employee. His employment at UCT ended prior to the matter being concluded. UCT cannot comment further on a matter involving a former staff member.”
He added that UCT had various interventions available to assist staff suffering from depression and other illnesses.
“UCT interventions are for staff at all levels and not only lecturers… In 2017 UCT launched a programme with the SA Depression and Anxiety Group offering mental health support at the university. Since 2017, various training and awareness sessions have been held for staff.”
When UCT was made aware of the post in August last year, management decided not to suspend Mabentsela, but place him on medical leave.
Chairperson of UCT’s Black Academics Caucus, Dr Tiri Chinyoka said the group would comment on the matter at a later stage. “We cannot comment on this at this stage; we were not aware of these developments. I would have to consult with my colleagues and we can comment then… we could not have envisaged it would get to this stage,” he said.
Mabentsela is a former president of the Khayelitsha Engineering Society, which promotes engineering as a career in disadvantaged communities. He left the position in July last year.
The organisation said was aware of the posts but was not in a position to comment on them.