News / South Africa

Gopolang Moloko
2 minute read
20 Nov 2018
10:50 am

UCT vice-chancellor’s ‘sexy-dress neckline’ divides opinion

Gopolang Moloko

Mamokgethi Phakeng was 'policed' for showing her neckline in an African-print dress at an academic event.

Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng. Image: Karin Morrow/Twitter

After University of Cape Town vice-chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng was criticised for her dress code when presenting new professors at the university, her defenders said it was nonsense.

A post by social media user Karin Morrow @rinmor describing professor Phakeng’s dress sense as “inappropriate attire” for a vice-chancellor of a university, however, appears to have received a heap of negative feedback.

Morrow in her post says: “Nooo… this is NOT appropriate attire for the vice-chancellor of a university to wear to an academic evening (presenting new professors #UCT)”

ANC election head Fikile Mbalula was among a heap of Twitter users who appeared to think Morrow has an agenda.

He said: “You’ve moved past policing her blackness, her academic records and now this. How low can you all really go? Every day in these Twitter streets we must deal with vagabondic racists who disguise their bigotry with what is always hallow criticism. It was Gareth now nguwe (you).”

This was followed by other Twitter users questioning what was wrong with the vice-chancellor’s dress sense.

Morrow suggested she was exposing too much skin in her chest area.

Some criticised the critic for suggesting there was any breast shown, and that the whole discussion was simply sexist anyway.

Morrow suggested Phakeng’s neckline was “plunging” and was more appropriate for a dance dress and not a formal academic occasion.

Others suggested Morrow was policing black people as she had once commented on Lindiwe Sisulu’s hair, which she referred to as wild.

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