Affirmative Action makes for lively debate

18 April 2007 | Story by Chris McEvoy

A large crowd turned up to watch the showdown between Professor David Benatar of the Department of Philosophy and deputy vice-chancellor, Professor Martin Hall, on 16 April, and they were not disappointed. In an entertaining and lively debate, Benatar argued against affirmative action, with Hall in opposition.

This followed on Benatar's much-discussed inaugural lecture, Justice, Diversity and Affirmative Action. In his lecture, Benatar caused some controversy by arguing that those who were most disadvantaged by injustice were the least likely to benefit from affirmative action.

The debate, chaired by Professor Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela of the Department of Psychology, was followed by audience feedback.

This event forms part of UCT's new Respect campaign, launched by vice-chancellor and principal, Professor Njabulo S Ndebele, on Human Rights Day. The next event on the Respect programme is a lecture by Professor Achille Mbembe of the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, titled Transformation, Black Victimhood and Social Justice, on 15 May.

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