Graduands wear white ribbons in solidarity

23 June 2008

White for solidarity: (From left) Commerce graduates Rudo Masheke, Emmah Gimani and S'thembiso Majozi show off the white ribbons on their wrists, worn by the June graduands to express solidarity with victims of xenophobia.

Graduands at the June ceremonies wore white ribbons when they stepped into Jameson Hall.

These marked the university's commitment to victims of xenophobia, and to contributing to understanding the causes of the present crisis and the development of appropriate solutions.

Vice-Chancellor Prof Njabulo S Ndebele's Crisis Response Task Team called for marks of visible solidarity with the victims of xenophobic violence, indicating at the same time UCT's commitment interventions and informed policy positions that address the causes of the present crisis.

"Such visible solidarity will also signify our recognition of the contribution that nationals of other countries make to UCT as a university of, and in, Africa," he said.

"We have students from almost every country in Africa, and from some 100 hundred countries in total. We also have staff from many parts of the continent and the world, giving us the wealth of their diverse knowledge and experience."

Accordingly, the Vice-Chancellor asked all staff and students to wear a white ribbon on their wrists, culminating in the graduation ceremonies on Friday, 13 June, when graduating students and their families were asked to renew their commitment to the principles and ideals of the university in this way.

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