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University of Johannesburg
On 2 March, the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Perskor Building was renamed Qoboza/Klaaste Building after prominent anti-apartheid journalists Percy Qoboza and Aggrey Klaaste.
In a statement released by the institution on 1 March, VC Prof. Ihron Rensburg describes the late journalists as leaders in the black consciousness movement through their news contributions.
According to News24, Qoboza’s editorial steering of The World led to it becoming the most widely circulated black newspaper in South Africa in 1974. The newspaper was banned in 1977. In 2000, the International Press Institute included Qoboza in its list of 50 World Press Freedom Heroes in the past 50 years.
News24 reported that Klaaste was the editor of The Sowetan between 1988 and 2002 and is widely recognised for pushing the concept of Nation Building that sought to heal apartheid-inflicted wounds in South Africa.
At the renaming of the building, Prof. Rensburg said “The families of the media stalwarts are honoured because this building will produce great minds for the future,”
University of Cape Town
A lecture by famous Kenyan writer, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, was briefly interrupted by students on 3 March.
In an article written for Independent Online, Xolela Mangcu, a Sociology professor at UCT, said she had invited wa Thiong’o to speak on decolonisation. According to News24, one of the protesters told Ngugi to “ask the oppressors to leave”.
Milisuthando Bongela, Culture and Arts editor of Mail & Guardian, tweeted that Mangcu went on stage to decline the request as it would have been disrespectful for wa Thiong’o to do so.
Later, Bongela tweeted that another woman walked onto stage with a poster that read “[South African] education is excluding poor, black people”. Pippa Green, a prolific journalist, tweeted, “Ngugi asked her to turn the poster toward him so he could read it.” Once he had read it, he continued with the lecture, with the protester seated on the stage.
Ngugi’s lecture was centred on inequalities between Africa and Europe.
Durban University of Technology
Fees Must Fall leader and student activist Bonginkosi Khanyile has been released from Durban’s Westville Prison after spending five months there.
Independent Online reported that the Durban University of Technology (DUT) student was released on R250 bail after the EFF took his case to the Constitutional Court when his appeals at the Magistrate’s Court, Durban High Court, and Supreme Court of High Appeal were dismissed.
Khanyile was arrested on 27 September and was subsequently charged with incitement to commit public violence, illegal gathering, and possession of explosives and dangerous weapons.
While addressing people who supported him outside DUT, Khanyile said, “I have played my role. But by the looks of it, I don’t think it will be the last time I am going to prison.”
Khanyisile is due to appear in court on 17 March.