Durban – Reverend Dr Vukile Mehana has resigned as the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s chair of council.
In January, Mehana made derogatory comments about women which went viral ahead of the ANC’s January 8 Statement which was hosted in Durban. The party suspended him from his duties as ANC chaplain and he was barred from officiating on the January 8 celebrations.
In the recording, Mehana had been in conversation with fellow Methodist church member Raymond Sibanga expressing sexist views about women in the ministry.
In the recording, which was in isiXhosa, the two men agreed that women in the ministry should not be allowed to carry out their duties.
“What type of women goes around fondling male breasts?” Mehana is heard asking as they discuss the enrobing process which takes place during ordination.
“What do the wives have to say when there is this big-breasted woman fondling their husband’s chest?”
In a university communique to staff and students on Wednesday afternoon, Dr LM Moja, the vice chair of council, confirmed Mehana had agreed to step down.
“This notice serves to inform the staff and students of UKZN of the resignation of Rev Dr Vukile Mehana from his position as chair of council of the university. Rev Dr Mehana’s resignation follows council’s decision to request him to step down as chair of council following publication on social media of recorded comments he made, which are entirely at odds with the ethos, values and the transformation agenda of the UKZN,” said Moja.
He said although Mehana had publicly apologised for his comments, the university and council had a “clear responsibility to uphold the standards of the university and to safeguard its reputation”.
The university confirmed the resignation in a statement.
At the time, Sonke Gender Justice called on Mehana to step down from all public positions.
The reverend’s views were condemned by ANC, the Methodist Church of Southern Africa and the Southern African Council of Churches.