UJ to rename building after anti-apartheid journalists

2017-03-01 22:03

Johannesburg – The University of Johannesburg (UJ) is set to rename the Perskor Building after anti-apartheid journalists Percy Qoboza and Aggrey Klaaste on Thursday. 

The building became the headquarters of the media giant Perskor in 1976, the same year Qoboza was named a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and the Soweto uprising took place. 

In a statement on Wednesday, vice chancellor Ihron Rensburg said Qoboza and Klaaste led South Africa in black consciousness thought through their contribution in newspapers. 

"They fought for the dignity and value of black people oppressed and dehumanised by the apartheid regime, using the media as a mighty weapon," Rensburg said. 

Qoboza became the editor of The World newspaper in 1968. The paper would go on to be the most circulated black newspaper in South Africa by 1974. He was honoured by the National Association of Black Journalists in the USA for overcoming serious obstacles to produce quality journalistic pieces. 

'Democratic-era empowerment space'

Klaaste became the editor of The Sowetan newspaper from 1988 until 2002. He is famously credited with having introduced the concept of Nation Building, which aimed to actively repair the damage apartheid inflicted to black communities. 

Rensburg said the university is honoured to celebrate the lives of two media stalwarts of the democratic struggle. 

"[Their struggle] is depicted in this transformed media space into a democratic-era empowerment space," Rensburg said. 

The university acquired the Perskor property in 2012 as part of an extensive upgrade of its Doornfontein campus with the aim to establish the campus as the academic and technology hub of the City of Johannesburg. 

The university said the refurbished space features interactive hubs which provide an informal platform for networks to be built between industry and students.

Read more on:    uj  |  johannesburg

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