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Mandela honoured with Robben Island award

2012-10-12 12:23

Pretoria - Former president Nelson Mandela was honoured in absentia with Unisa's 2012 Robben Island Alumnus Award in Pretoria on Thursday evening.

Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory communications and outreach head Sello Hatang received the award on Mandela's behalf.

"As you all know, Mandela has had a long relationship with this institution," he said, describing Mandela's struggled to acquire his law degree, which he obtained through the University of SA (Unisa) while on Robben Island on July 20 1989.

"It was a difficult struggle and in the end I finished it in jail," Hatang quoted Mandela as saying.

He said the award was not only for people who had studied under the apartheid regime, but also for those who were studying in prison today.

Hatang commended Unisa, which is about to celebrate its 140th anniversary, for its work in education.

"Unisa, it is in your hands to make a difference," Hatang said.

A Robben Island Alumnus Award was also made to Liberty Group chairman Saki Macozoma.

The university presented its Outstanding Educator Award, also in absentia, to academic and anti-apartheid activist Dr Mamphela Ramphele.

It gave its Outstanding Alumnus Award to Industrial Development Corporation of SA CEO Geoffrey Qhena.

"I am honoured that a township born and bred boy from Meadowlands could be recognised by such an institution," he said.

Unisa principal and vice chancellor Prof Mandla Makhanya said the awards were a formal acknowledgement of the recipients' commitment to social justice and ethical leadership. "They are now well-acknowledged and respected."

Gauteng Judge President Bernard Ngoepe said Unisa had made a huge contribution through distance learning.

"The truth is Unisa is the alma mater of this country's most distinguished minds," he said, adding that it had offered the hope of a world class education to many when the political environment was segregated.

Rubbishing suggestions that distance learning was inferior, Ngoepe asked how then Unisa had managed to produce a president, a Nobel laureate, a chief justice, and a deputy chief justice. "I rest my case."

He said that if the youth of today were as motivated to study as the award recipients, the country would be quite different.

"These people have made a positive impact in various walks of our lives," Ngoepe said.

Comments
  • christopher.shining - 2012-10-12 12:48

    A True leader!

  • Gatvol Griet - 2012-10-12 13:25

    Mandela was a terrorist who employed violence leading to deaths. No matter what his reasons, his methods made him an enemy of the state and he should have been executed. Does this mean that the Boeremag will also get awards one day?

      emphatic.darksorrow - 2012-10-12 13:56

      Nelson Mandela fought against a violent, oppresive regime. The boeremag were radicals who enjoyed killing and were all out racists. Who was the greater perpetrator - Mandela or Verwoerds Grand Apartheid.....?

      frank.cornelissen.1 - 2012-10-12 15:13

      sipho.skepu - October 12, 2012 at 14:12 If you want to remove this comment, have the decency to remove the one that caused the banter!! Careful boet, you wouldn't want to reciprocate your racism by us referring to your memberships of the Flat-Snout-Society and the 70% IQ Association, while dwelling on your fondness for wearing animal skins dressed up with Nike sneakers as so vividly displayed by the (continuing) Zoomer wedding saga, would you now??

      jackie.stone.501 - 2012-10-12 15:35

      Would you guys please ignore this loser call @Gatvol, he is the HG stupid, they don't get any stupid than him

  • frank.cornelissen.1 - 2012-10-12 14:37

    Yeah, another excuse for some idiot to play fiddle while the country is burning! Dumb as mud!

  • carolyn.dewrance - 2012-10-12 14:56

    More waste of the tax payers money, this could be put to better use.

  • john.cryink - 2012-10-12 14:57

    Just think of his legacy and he started it. entitlement,demand,expectations and promises he and his party knew they could not keep. Throught out his 5 years the only thing that was seen was the start of decline.

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