Obama accepts SA varsity doctorate

2013-06-28 18:38

Johannesburg - US President Barack Obama has accepted an honorary doctorate of laws from the University of Johannesburg, vice chancellor Ihron Rensburg announced on Friday.

"It is my delight and pleasure to announce, on behalf of the entire community of the University of Johannesburg, that Dr Barack Obama has become our newest alumnus, and that all matters relating to the award were concluded according to the relevant policies and charters of the university," he said in a statement.

Obama would not accept the award in person at this stage.

"First, it is normal and standard that the formal procedures relating to the conferral of an honorary degree do not coincide with the actual conferral of the qualification," said Rensburg.

"Secondly, Dr Barack Obama's visit to South Africa is a matter between the South African state and the US. Accordingly, and on this occasion, Dr Obama is a guest of the South African state and the South African people, and not of the University of Johannesburg."

The fact that Obama's visit coincided with former president Nelson Mandela's hospital stay was also cited as a reason for the university not physically conferring the doctorate.

"Accordingly, the ceremonial conferral of the honorary doctorate on Dr Barack Obama will take place at a future occasion on a mutually agreed date," Rensburg said.

  • Punter Castro - 2013-06-28 18:50

    These honorary degrees are a sham! None of the recipients actually EARN them. They are just pieces of useless paper.

      Kari Pentikainen - 2013-06-28 19:24

      See it as SA hospitality. Nothing more. ?!

      Rupesh Hari - 2013-06-28 20:03

      Did you just realise what honorary meant?

      James Blacksmith - 2013-06-28 20:08

      At least in the case of Obama, he was already a lawyer. Not like some of the other degrees where folk know nothing about the subject.

      Arthur Salvado - 2013-06-29 09:04

      Not to worry Castro. Our degrees are not recognized in the rest of the world. I wouldn't be surprised if Obama says " thank you but no thank you"

  • Cas van Niekerk - 2013-06-28 18:53

    Did he apply for permission to land at Waterkloof? Surely he knows Zuma!!

  • Lindy Jeffery - 2013-06-28 19:05

    I wonder how much he paid for it??. :-)

  • Jonathan Crossland - 2013-06-28 19:05

    Law! Ironic!

      Rupesh Hari - 2013-06-28 20:04

      He has a Law degree from Harvard.

  • Forward Mugayi - 2013-06-28 19:18

    Obama gate...

  • Paul Ramms - 2013-06-28 19:25

    U.j should have honoured President Robert Mugabe

      Tony Zulu - 2013-06-28 19:28

      Only if he promises to take all his country man back with when goes back after the ceremony.

  • Sbo Kubeka - 2013-06-28 19:27

    Hahahaha! UJ, serves u right!

  • Eugene Trollip - 2013-06-28 19:44

    An honorary doctor's degree does not entitle the recipient to the title of "Dr" so and so, get it right News 24!

      Jurie Nel - 2013-06-29 09:38

      Eugene, you should address that comment to Rensburg, not to News24.

  • Thanduxolo Galada - 2013-06-28 20:11

    The hate on Obama? You know nothin if you thought it was going to be easy for him. I admire him muuuuuuuuuuuuuch more than Zoomer.

      Arthur Salvado - 2013-06-29 09:06

      That doesn't say much Galada. I admire my local Spar more than I admire Zuma . Got it ?

  • Chevon Martin - 2013-06-28 20:31

    @Tshivhule please repeat that in english??

      Lynda Miracle Masuku - 2013-06-29 08:25


  • John Smith - 2013-06-28 20:43

    What a waste of time and space.

  • John Smith - 2013-06-28 20:45

    Totally devalues and invalidates the work of real graduates.

  • Richard Scully - 2013-06-28 22:36

    He isn't going to be able to use it because our university degrees are hardly recognised anywhere in the world since the ANC took over, except Zimbabwe perhaps

  • Stephen Brookes - 2013-06-29 00:44

    Haha wow so they're just handing out doctorates?

      Jurie Nel - 2013-06-29 09:43

      No, Stephen, not doctorates. HONORARY doctorates - as universities have been doing for centuries. See my reply to Richard above.

  • Sidwell 'Feesh' Francis - 2013-06-29 10:09

    Some of us are not that well clued...what criteria is used to identify a recipient of an Honorary doctorate?what qualification must the person have?What is it that he must have done to be considered?who is entitled to give one?on what basis does that institution qualify to hand out these doctorates?

  • Seriousman Veryserious - 2013-06-29 17:35

    Who told UJ that Obama ran out of toilet paper?

  • pages:
  • 1