Just to clarify, everyone. UCT has its roots in the support of what was back then the local government. A seat on the university council was one of the conditions for government support of the then nascent university (which was otherwise largely backed by private funds/donations). And yes, traditionally it's always a councillor. And indeed, Geordin's statement is BS. Appointing a councillor by default does not make them independent (except for maybe being independent to the university's internal affairs and politics I suppose).