Open letter to Zak Thamae

Subject: Open letter to Zak Thamae
From: The one he tried to destroy...
Date: 21 Feb 2022

Zak Thamae,

Like it or not, but as the Dean, you did fail to retain another Full Professor, and then you quit. That is obviously your ‘under-’ or ‘non-performance’, but the more serious part is that in my case, you misused your position and office. All because of your own jealousy and well-known hatred against expatriates, and also because of your short-sightedness and unprofessional attitude. Besides, you were also blinded by your ring-master Taele’s hate-speeches. It is not difficult to understand that your actions were driven by your selfishness and to some extent, your fear and low self-esteem. I had given you a chance, which could have helped you stamp your authority over all these sick, immature and poisonous minds, but you failed to grab it! What a pity! I could have explained all this if you didn’t have such ego and had given me an opportunity to tell my side of the story.

I have reasons to believe that you had occupied that office (after being voted in by your own influenced and sycophant followers) with an agenda: To ‘clean’ the faculty off all expatriates, especially the senior-most ones... Professors…! Do you know that many say you are xenophobic. Prove this wrong! You won’t. You can’t.

You think I have not noticed that you never liked me ever since I arrived here 18 years ago? Initially you were just an arrogant fool, just like the present days’ youngsters. You think I never noticed that you always opted to stay out whenever there was a possibility of me getting some applauds. Consider this: You never attended my seminars/presentations. Even when you were the Head, you attended everyone’s, but not mine. You never presented my application-packages for any promotion, even when you were the Head, someone else did. You never helped/facilitated/allowed me to go for ToT, LRSM or iThemba LABS, or anywhere else to develop better collaborations. As the Head, you could have assigned these as tasks to me.

The extreme was when you escaped from the scene when the ERC proposal was lined-up for presentation at the Senate under my Headship. It was about to be withdrawn by the then Dean-FoST, Late Prof Ramollo, but I insisted him not to, and then preparing myself in 15 minutes’ time I did present, and got it approved too! Senators who were present there still remember who had presented and got the ERC and MSc Sust Energy proposals approved. Now you want to take all the credits. That has obviously been your character. If not, why Mr Anadola T’siu’s genuine efforts and hard work are never appreciated or highlighted adequately? Further, why did you never consider me a part of ERC or Sust Energy team? Even when I was the Head, you and your friends always tried to sideline me, bypassed my office and went straight to the Dean’s. You always had hidden, mischievous intentions, but when I officially asked for an explanation, you got offended! As if that wasn’t enough, you started whispering everywhere that Physics is a ‘head-less’ department! What is it now? “Multi-headed”, or what? Does the Department now have any Head, and are there any heads in it at all?

The Department could've chosen to reject my contract renewal in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 and in 2018... Eight opportunities to kick me out! They could have better done it earlier, to help me as well as themselves, when I was younger, healthier and more energetic.
But instead, my immediate supervisors (twice, the then Heads of Department and once, the Dean-FoST) recommended for my promotion to Senior Lectureship in 2007, to Associate Professorship in 2013, and to Full Professorship in 2018!!!

Does it not imply that I was consistently performing as expected of me?

Moreover, the Department had unanimously elected me the Head in 2016. The actual story is that I had to be convinced and coaxed by the then Dean-FoST. I never wanted to hold any position, because I knew my straightforward and honest way of doing things would offend people like you and your team. But I was forced, or perhaps I was trapped into it.

Things started changing only in 2018, that too, after 23rd of August, when my Application for Promotion to Full Professorship was presented at Faculty level for the first time. Some drastic changes in behaviour and attitude of colleagues were noticed immediately.

People, especially colleagues, seem to like you only until you are good, or at most, very good. The moment you try to become excellent or outstanding, their perspective changes. They won't see, or conveniently ignore, the hard work, the sweat and tears, and the series of failed attempts that one passes through in the quest to succeed.

The above trait of common mental sickness was more obvious in a certain departmental colleague, who has been known by most people around, to behave like a self-proclaimed-full-professor since his birth. Of course I am talking about Taele. He started his dirty games immediately by influencing other colleagues. Within a week, he got me voted out of my Headship! In the next few weeks, he created a number of fabricated stories. Threatened me on phone. Got my nul email account hacked... In his malicious attempts to spread hatred and poison, he didn't leave any stone unturned! With the bunch of vulnerable fools around, who are comfortable within their own cocoon of misinformation, it's not surprising that he successfully managed to manipulate everything the way he liked.

By the way, do you still remember or have conveniently forgotten that I had approached you too, to mediate and help me out of that hostile situation. I had explained everything, and you seemed (or pretended) to understand. But what happened? Instead of helping me out, you started taking advantage, and partnered in the crime with Taele! …and you two were nicely supported by the bootlicking Singh and psycho Fabiane. Makhele is just a rubber-stamp, nothing more than that. Others in the Department currently are only fearful simpletons, dumb fools or clever opportunists. Except for a couple of them, hardly anyone there is an empathetic human being.

That’s the pathetic state of a Department that was called at an SMT Meetings, the best of all departments around 2017-18, and which could have been the leader… What a pity!!!

You messed up everything.