March 20, 2011

University of Cape Town Opens Ombuds Office With IOA Standards

Africa's leading university has appointed Zetu Makamandela-Mguqulwa as its first Ombud. Makamandela-Mguqulwa says that her office will provide a safe and informal space to be heard and an alternative to the other formal modes of dispute resolution at the university. Moreover, she will practice to IOA standards, thereby becoming the only University Ombuds on the continent to do so.

Makamandela-Mguqulwa reports directly to Archibishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, the Chair of UCT's governing Council and will serve all members of the university, including 23,500 students and 4,500 faculty and staff. As backup, she will be able to call on 28 independently trained university employees to act as mediators.  Makamandela-Mguqulwa earned her BS in Social Sciences from UCT and a Master's in Social Science from the University of the Western Cape. This is her third stint at UCT, having previously serves as the transformation coordinator in the Faculty of Health Sciences from 2003 to 2006. Most recently, she was a change-management specialist at oil company PetroSA, where she provided counsel on transformation and change at all levels, including to company executives. (UTC Monday Paper, Ombud Office.)

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