Popular University of the Western Cape staff member dies of Covid-19

20 May 2020 - 17:40 By Aron Hyman
UWC IT technician Mogamat Salie died early on Monday morning.
UWC IT technician Mogamat Salie died early on Monday morning.
Image: UWC

Staff at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) are reeling after campus IT technician Mogamat Salie succumbed to Covid-19 on Monday.

Salie was described by his colleagues as a “champion for the underdog” who would place himself in difficult situations to “stand up for those who were not always able to fight for themselves”.

The veteran staff member had been working at UWC since 1997. 

Manie Regal, UWC executive director for finance and services, described Salie as “a dear friend, colleague and mentor to many within his team” in a tribute distributed to university staff on Monday.

“It is with great sadness that we share the news that one of our ICS [information and communication services] staff members, Mogamat Amien Salie, passed away today [Monday] at 2am. He was a member of the student laboratory support team as a technician,” he said.

Regal said he was buried on Monday in line with Muslim rites.

Salie was described as a “Linux guru” because of his mastery of the operating system, which is used by the university’s academic staff.

Regal said Salie would often be approached for help - even by computer science professors.

“He was known for being soft-spoken and caring in his approach,” said Regal.

“It is always heartbreaking to lose someone familiar and close to you. We are at a loss following his passing. He will be sorely missed. We would like to express our sincerest condolences to his family and friends.”

UWC communications manager Gasant Abarder said only essential services staff such as security guards are still on campus, adding that Salie was already working from home when he contracted the virus.