Bidding farewell to Dr John Chipangura

03 Apr 2024
Dr John Chipangura webslide
03 Apr 2024

Dear Staff and Student Colleagues 

As the change of season greets us, it is time for us to bid farewell to one of our colleagues who is moving to a new phase in his career. Dr John Chipangura, the interim director of the UCT Research Animal Facility (UCT-RAF) based in the Faculty Research Office, has left UCT after seven years as a laboratory animal veterinary specialist.

I wish to acknowledge Dr Chipangura’s contribution to the Faculty: firstly, for his role in the implementation of a long-term vision of the UCT-RAF, which was to become a leading research animal facility in an academic institution in South Africa. Furthermore, he was instrumental in developing and improving compliance systems at UCT, which included streamlining the training of veterinary and para-veterinary procedures for authorisation of researchers and staff by the South African Veterinary Association.

Dr Chipangura shared his invaluable insights through serving on several committees within UCT: the Senate Animal Ethics Committee, the FHS Animal Ethics Committee, the Faculty of Science Animal Ethics Committee and the Institution Biosafety Committee. His leadership and contribution to the “Introduction to Laboratory Animal Science” course at UCT led to the attainment of accreditation by the European Federation of Laboratory Animal Sciences in 2018, rendering UCT one of only two institutions outside of Europe to gain this accreditation.

Leadership tests come in all shapes and forms, and amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr Chipangura worked diligently to showcase UCT-RAF as an internationally competitive platform for contract research. He successfully ran several contract research projects as principal investigator, one being the establishment of the first hamster Covid-19 model at UCT. As interim director, Dr Chipangura led the UCT-RAF through trying times of business reviews of the department through to completion. He will be missed for his consideration for others, his ability to stay calm during turmoil and his wealth of knowledge in the use of animals for scientific purposes and teaching.

I am enormously grateful for Dr Chipangura for his contributions to UCT and wish him well in his next chapter of his career. Dr Chipangura, ndatenda (thank you). We have seen you.

The role of interim director has been taken up by Dr Tashie Makwavarara with the support of Mr Jabu Magagula as co-interim director, effective from 1 March 2024. I deeply appreciate their willingness to step into these posts. Like the transition to a new season, a new chapter is being written, and the crisp autumn air mirrors a time of invigoration for the UCT-RAF. Our Research Animal Facility remains a leading entity in the national landscape and we continue to build a structure which enhances the research of our scholars in the Faculty and beyond.


Kaise ke gangans
Associate Professor Lionel Green-Thompson
Dean: Faculty of Health Sciences