Kader Asmal

2008-02-28 00:00

The official retirement of Kader Asmal from active politics has deprived Parliament of a robust and rational member who was open to lively debate and new ideas. He made a significant and controversial contribution as Minister of Education, firstly with his mergers of a proliferation of universities into larger integrated units, and, secondly, with his introduction of outcomes-based learning at school level.

Asmal has roots in this province as a son of KwaDukuza (Stanger), together with a world view shaped through his years in political exile. His academic career as a professor of law at Trinity College, Dublin in Ireland helped to create the sophistication that has been a feature of his political work.

Probably Asmal's finest achievement was the lead he gave in proposing and encouraging the setting up of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which played a seminal part in the healing of a sordid and painful past.

The warmness of Parliament's farewell to him indicates the sense of loss that will prevail without his presence in the chamber.

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