School of Social Sciences

Anti-apartheid activist receives Honorary Doctorate from UKZN

Dr Protas Madlala, an anti-apartheid activist who fought for vulnerable people who faced forced removals, was capped Doctor of Social Science (honoris causa). He expressed his deep gratitude to the University for recognising his many years of service to his fellow South Africans.
Honorary graduate, Dr Protas Madlala with his daughters Racquel (left) and Darienne.
Honorary graduate, Dr Protas Madlala with his daughters Racquel (left) and Darienne.

Taking a political stance for his address, he called on all graduates to remedy the current situation in the country by being agents of change: ‘No government will develop you. You have to change your attitude on your own. As South Africans, remember that society owes you nothing.’

Madlala lamented some government policies, calling RDP houses and township shebeens a curse. ‘If you are given handouts, your dignity goes out the window and you become a slave,’ he said.

He added that, while philosopher Karl Marx called religion the ‘Opium of the Masses’, in South Africa this applies to alcohol: ‘Every township I have come across has taverns and shebeens and seems to be promoted by government. You can’t stand up against the government if you’re drunk!’

He advised students to consider their academic garb and their degree as a source of humility. ‘Use it to uplift your families,’ Madlala urged. ‘The country is crying out for servant leadership that addresses the needs of the poor. Don’t allow yourself to be captured for a vote by promises of a first world system. It won’t work if the people continue to be poor.’

He received a standing ovation for his speech with many praising him for his truthful words.

Madlala facilitated the establishment of the ‘Save St Wendolines’ campaign in the 1980s and the area was granted permanent ‘settlement’ status after he spearheaded a petition to the then Minister of Constitutional Development. He has led an exemplary, selfless life and was recently in the headlines for using his own money to pay the salaries of employees in the organisation he works for.

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Dr Clayton Hazvinei Vhumbunu at CODESRIA’s General Assembly Conference.

UKZN Research Fellow presents paper at CODESRIA General Assembly Conference

Research Fellow in International Relations within the School of Social Sciences, Dr Clayton Hazvinei Vhumbunu presented a paper on African Regional Economic Integration in the era of Globalisation: Reflecting on the Trials, Tribulations and Triumphs, at the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa’s (CODESRIA) 15th General Assembly Conference in Dakar, Senegal.

From left: Mr Niq Mhlongo, Mrs Shantha Maharaj, Ms Darniel Small, Dr Patricia Opondo, Professor Nobuhle Hlongwa, Mr Mbuso Khoza, Dr Saleem Badat, Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize, Professor Nogwaja Zulu and Ms Xoliswa Zulu

Humanities Academics spearhead research projects through the Mellon Foundation

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Humanities Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize and academics Professors Ernest Khalema, Maheshvari Naidu, Nobuhle Hlongwa and Nogwaja Zulu recently met with Dr Saleem Badat of the Andrew W Mellon Foundation to discuss their research projects that were made possible through funding from the Foundation.