25 August 2008
Assoc Prof Andrew Nash, AFC chair: "There are really two histories of academic freedom at UCT. The first and most conspicuous of them concerns the relationship between the state and the university, with the state cast as the threatening Goliath and the university as the plucky David, armed only with the slingshot of truth. The second history concerns relationships within the university itself, where the shared values of community are pitted against the managerial needs of efficiency, excellence, cost accounting and the like. It's not a David-and-Goliath story. We could say that Goliath is David's manager."
Prof Fred Hendricks, Rhodes University: "What emerges is a very ugly picture of duplicity on the part of UCT because they were desperate to project an image of autonomy at exactly the time when they were responsible for its wholesale denial. The university relinquished its autonomy with not even a whimper of protest besides the ritualised claim of protest. In fact, the thin veneer of liberal protest attempted to hide the ugly side of UCT's racist practices."
Assoc Prof Lungisile Ntsebeza, UCT: "My argument is that it is the events in the 1990s, more than the 1968 episode, that can help us understand Mafeje's behaviour in 2003 [when he ignored UCT's offer of an honorary degree and an apology]. It appears from archival records that in 1990 Mafeje made investigations through a friend about the possibility of returning to UCT. This matter was not taken up with the leadership at UCT."
Dr Ken Hughes, UCT: "It's never a good thing to give in to a blackmailer. In a hostage situation, nobody's hands stay clean."
Emeritus Professor Francis Wilson: Lessons from the Mafeje Affair - "Lesson2: The Council gained nothing by giving in; nobody ever made clear what terrible thing it averted. But it contaminated itself. Lesson 3: The huge damage of not having had Archie Mafeje teaching, writing, researching at UCT for 10, 20, 30, even 40 years."

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Please view the republishing articles page for more information.