Tag: University of Cape Town


By Marika Sboros

Academic bullying or mobbing as it has become known is an ugly phenomenon. It’s a scourge, endemic in even the best universities in countries across the globe.

South Africa is no exception, as the extent of academic mobbing at the University of Cape Town (UCT) reveals.

A series of articles in the Cape Doctor magazine covers two egregious examples of academic mobbing at UCT. (Scroll down for a link to the online version.)

In a scorching editorial, editor Dr John Steer hits out at UCT for what many see as an entrenched culture of mobbing.

Why won’t UCT just say sorry to Noakes for academic ‘mobbing’?

UPDATED with UCT response received after publication today. Scroll down below.

By Marika Sboros

Extensive, uncontested evidence on public record shows that staff of the University of Cape Town and its Faculty of Health Science participated in what many see as the academic bullying of Prof Tim Noakes.

Will UCT and the Faculty ever apologise for that academic bullying – or “mobbing” as it is now popularly known? The signs are not auspicious, says Noakes.

Academic mobbing is a global phenomenon. In South Africa, the uncontested evidence suggests that it’s a scourge. It has affected not just UCT but also other top universities: Stellenbosch, North-West (formerly Potchefstroom) and my alma mater, the University of the Witwatersrand.

Don’t mistake academic mobbing for academic politics.

Noakes: backlash begins as UCT ‘big guns’ fire wildly

Prof Tim Noakes

By Marika Sboros

As I predicted, the backlash against University of Cape Town sports scientist Prof Tim Noakes has begun.

I knew it would happen after MPs invited him to address Parliament last week on Banting. I didn’t think it would happen quite so soon. Or that it would come from  his own colleagues at UCT.

The “guns” aimed at Noakes don’t get bigger than this. Academics from UCT’s highest reaches have written an open letter to the Cape Times attacking him. Here’s what they aimed at their target:

Noakes spreads Banting message to Parliament

Prof Tim Noakes

Prof Tim Noakes

By Marika Sboros

South African MPs could soon be “Banting” – as low-carb, high-fat is known in that country.  Certainly, many  look as if they need it.

Parliament’s Wellness Unit invited Cape Town sports scientist Prof Tim Noakes to talk on diet and nutrition this week. Here’s a peek at what went down: