Thabo Mbeki inaugurated as Unisa Chancellor

By Drum Digital
27 February 2017

Former South African President, Thabo Mbeki, was inaugurated as the new Chancellor of the University of South Africa in a dignified ceremony on Monday morning.

Former South African President, Thabo Mbeki, was inaugurated as the new Chancellor of the University of South Africa in a dignified and well attended ceremony where he was much praised as a leader.

When the announcement of his chancellorship was made in December, Unisa Principal and Vice Chancellor Professor Mandla Makhanya said it was in line with their Strategy Vision 2030 to become “the African university shaping futures in the service of humanity”.

Makhanya said Mbeki was voted in by the universities staff, alumni and students for possessing the right attributes and qualities to uphold their vision.

At the ceremony, Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande commended Mbeki for taking up his new leadership role at Unisa despite having many other commitments.

He described Mbeki as one of the greatest intellectuals Africa has produced.

When Mbeki took to the stage, he was described by a praise singer as being: “The greatest son of African soil, the fertiliser of peace and a former president who is current.”

In his inaugural speech, Mbeki said he would reserve his opinions on how Higher Education needs to be transformed in South Africa until the Commission of Enquiry into Higher Education and Training, or Fees Commission, concludes their report.

Instead he acknowledged the role of activism played by South African students in the #FeesMustFall and #RhodesMustFAll movements that called for decolonised higher education, but denounced the use of violence by students to get their message across.

He again reaffirmed his belief in the African Renaissance - that there should be a move away from a “European legacy” so that Africans can construct a new identity. South Africans had much to say on social media about his inauguration:  

Find Love!

Men
Women