Kgethi Phakeng claps back at DA shadow minister

Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng. Image: Karin Morrow/Twitter

Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng. Image: Karin Morrow/Twitter

The UCT vice-chancellor did not take the accusations lying down.

Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng had to correct a DA shadow minister after she alleged that funds were being misused by the government as various Davos delegates were accompanied by their spouses for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.

DA MP and shadow minister of higher education and training Belinda Bozzoli shared a Business Tech article featuring a list of the South Africans who would be attending WEF and expressed her thoughts about “a couple of husband and wife teams” on the list.

She went on to comment about the fact that UCT was the only institution of higher learning on the list before asking “what is in it for them”, considering how much it cost to attend.

Professor Phakeng quickly shut down Bozzoli’s insinuations by explaining that she was invited to attend as she would be participating on two panels and visiting UCT’s partner universities during her trip.

Bozzoli thanked Professor Phakeng for her explanation but Phakeng was not having it. She went on to inform Bozzoli that the UCT vice-chancellor was invited to attend the WEF every year but she was the first VC who had been invited to present an address and she would have instead preferred the DA MP’s sincere congratulations.

President Cyril Ramaphosa arrived in Geneva, Switzerland, on Tuesday morning to launch the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Global Commission on the Future of Work Report, said his spokesperson, Khusela Diko, in a statement.

Ramaphosa and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven are co-chairs of the 27-member Global Commission which has been tasked to identify challenges and make recommendations which will sustain and protect the livelihood of workers around the world.

This is amid the proliferation of the fourth industrial revolution, climate change, and the changing world economic cycle.

Diko said the Global Commission’s report would be launched at the ILO headquarters and would form part of this United Nations agency’s centenary year.

Diko said Ramaphosa would engage with the ILO ahead of leading Team South Africa to annual meetings of the World Economic Forum from Tuesday to Friday.

At the ILO engagement, Ramaphosa will be accompanied by Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant.

ALSO READ: SA on a hard-sell strategy at World Economic Forum

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