Archbishop, NGO founder among honorary doctorate recipients at Stellenbosch University

2018-03-21 10:14
Archbishop Thabo Makgoba (File, Netwerk24)

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba (File, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town – Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, Gift of the Givers' founder and director Imtiaz Sooliman and theologian Professor Musa Dube were among the recipients of honorary doctorates bestowed by Stellenbosch University on Tuesday.

Makgoba, the youngest person to be appointed as Archbishop of Cape Town, was awarded the degree Doctor of Theology, (DTh), honoris causa, for being a "moral compass" and a voice of reason during turbulent times.

This adds to the PhD he earned from the University of Cape Town for his study on spirituality in the mining sector.

Rector and vice-chancellor Wim de Villiers paid tribute to Makgoba for taking a "clear moral and ethical stance" on modern-day complexities, and for convening chaplains and student leaders in the Western Cape to help students put forward their demands during the fees crisis.

Dube was honoured with a degree Doctor of Theology, (DTh), honoris causa, for having pioneered a new way of reading the Bible in pursuit of justice for all, including African women, people still suffering the consequences of colonisation and for drawing on her discipline to fight HIV and Aids.

The university said Dube, who obtained a master's degree in the UK and a PhD in the US, epitomises socially engaged biblical scholarship and has become a leading voice in postcolonial biblical interpretation. 

Leaders, role models, mentors

She also critiqued African churches' response to HIV and Aids, holding them accountable through her writing for failing to respond adequately to the pandemic.

She said in her acceptance speech to the graduates present: "Go out there and light the world."

Dr Trueman Goba was honoured with a degree Doctor of Engineering, (DEng), honoris causa, for setting himself apart as a leader in civil engineering and for being a role model and mentor for younger engineers.

He has contributed to the construction of the Nelson Mandela Bridge in Johannesburg, the Durban Harbour Tunnel, and several of the 2010 FIFA World Cup stadiums.

He champions under-represented and disadvantaged groups in engineering and has shown his mettle as a leader of distinction in his field, the university said.

He adds the honorary degree to his Master of Engineering, (MEng), from Cornell University, US.

Good wishes

In his acceptance speech he spoke of how during the apartheid era he had to get special permission simply to study civil engineering, and could not ride on the bus that served the white university community.

He hoped that the students graduating would go on to create better services and policies so that when they look back after 40 years they are amazed by what they have achieved.

"I wish this to happen to you, as it happened to me," he said.

Sooliman was awarded a Doctor of Science, (DSc), honoris causa, for his work with Gift of the Givers, regarded as being synonymous with hope and relief locally and internationally.

Professor Andre Nel, now with UCLA, was also awarded a Doctor of Science, (DSc), honoris causa, for his contributions to the science of nanomedicine, allergy and immunology. Nel had already bagged the dean's medal for top final-year resident when he studied at Stellenbosch.

Other recipients of honorary degrees include journalist Max du Preez, actor Sandra Prinsloo and businessman Patrice Motsepe.

Read more on:    stellenbosch university  |  cape town  |  good news

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