Tuesday, November 6, 2007

UCT Deputy Registrar's Dark Past Uncovered

A little over than two months ago, Dr Paul Ngobeni was appointed deputy registrar at UCT. Now usually I'd be completely disinterested with changes in UCT staff, let alone the legal positions. However, two weeks ago news that he had been previously suspended from practising law in the US 18 months ago was revealed.

Two weeks ago this article was published, which appears to be what broke the news to the public. The whole thing goes back to December 2005 when he was indefinitely suspended from the practice of law in Connecticut after he failed to appear for a presentment hearing. The list of offences goes on and on and are outlined in that article in greater detail.

It was this article that got me to post about this though. He apparently claimed that the whole thing was a "smear campaign by some whites," because "news of his difficulties emerged only after he jumped to the defence of embattled Cape Judge President John Hlophe." The article where he defends Hlophe can be read here. Notice that that article was published on October 17 and that the article revealing his suspension was published on October 23. So it's not impossible that this had some impact.

Lets take a step back for a moment. How was it that UCT employed Ngobeni before doing a thorough background check? Any reasonable check should have resulted in at least some of this background of his being discovered. When will be the day when one at least does a simple two minute Google search? If you haven't clicked on that link I suggest you do. The rankings may well have changed over the past couple weeks, however, I can guarantee you that this one was right on top. That was in fact the very page that was the first lead that resulted in the search for more information on Ngobeni.

How do I know this? That would be due to me knowing the people that dug up Ngobeni's past -- Ben Steenhuisen and
Laing Lourens. The thing that I wanted to point out, however, is that it was identified before Ngobeni's article on Hlophe on October 17. This flat-out nullifies Ngobeni's pathetic decision to stand behind such a weak attack that, even if it was true that it spurred the interest to search for incriminating evidence then so what? Once you've voiced such a strong opinion then you're only attracting attention that will always result in at least some people wanting to find out more about you!

And then there is this:

Ngobeni said he did not have to inform UCT of the charges and convictions before his appointment, as it was public knowledge, and had been published on the internet.
No, seriously man? That's all I can take of this.



  1. Here is a list of charges against him.

    Hasn't UCT met its cretin quota yet? The place seems over-run with them.

  2. That last comment was quite racist hey, shows some ppl havent changed yet.

  3. How do you judge Anonymous' comment to be racist? Sounds more Cretinist to me.

  4. Looks like they just arrested him in the US: http://www.int.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=13&art_id=vn20071121040948491C565526

  5. Woah...that's crazy. It's great that they're taking action -- just shows how serious this matter is. I'm so surprised this hasn't attracted much media attention.

  6. What is the latest on this story of the deputy or is the administration waiting for the new leadership to clean up the mess left behind by the puppet VC and his cronies

  7. Double standards and racism (open and subtle) is alive and well at some Universities in SA and if they are buying the story of the deputy to keep his job and they continue to pay his salary it is the height of irresponsible behavior by the Registrar and the VC

  8. I think this issue deserves more attention, perhaps time to address it again and in more detail in light of MR (not DR, more below) Ngobeni's recent defence of Hlope JP. He is not a Dr, he holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence which is roughly equivilent to our LLB qualification, an LLM at the most, but not a Doctoral degree. He and the university have acknowledged this. I am shocked that he is employed at UCT.

  9. Whats this new story about some criminal paedophile prof. that UCT is protecting. Does anyone know more about it. Also this pattern of racism amongst staff and student admissions at UCT is quit appalling. What a mess.