Convocation debates Rhodes and transformation

08 April 2015 | Story by Newsroom

Convocation debates Rhodes and transformation

Last night's Convocation meeting was likely one of the biggest in UCT's recent history, and little wonder: transformation and the Rhodes statue were on the table.

Alumni packed the New Learning Centre on the Health Sciences campus; some graduated in the 1950s, while many were first hooded more recently. And the viewpoints offered were as varied as the generations, although not necessarily organised along those lines.

Some alumni remembered only being allowed to study at UCT in the 1980s with permits from the–then 'Coloured Affairs' Education Department; others harked back to an even earlier time when they felt a markedly anti–apartheid atmosphere at the university.

This was not about alumni voting for whether the statue should be moved or not, assured Vice–Chancellor Dr Max Price as proceedings began. Instead, Convocation would hear different viewpoints about the statue and broader transformation concerns at the university.

Summing up, President of Convocation Professor Barney Pityana (pictured above) remarked that transformation couldn't merely be a buzz word and that it should, in fact, be the "life blood" of the country and university.

Story by Yusuf Omar. Image by Je'nine May.

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