Nelson Mandela University has announced that it will confer honorary doctorates, at its graduation ceremony next week, to Justice of the Constitutional Court Jody Kollapen, novelist and cultural activist Mandla Langa, clinical psychologist and academic Professor Noel Chabani Manganyi and digital transformation entrepreneur Nkemdilim Begho.
The university stressed the importance of recognising individuals who have contributed towards the digital transformation of the continent and to the legal, social, psychological and intellectual leadership displayed in the struggle for freedom.
In receiving this recognition, each of the recipients expressed their sincere gratitude.
Kollapen noted that his work as a human rights lawyer and in the judiciary had been directed at ensuring that the law was accessible to all.
“South Africa needs to look back and ask what it was that we fought for. The answer is that we fought for democracy, for a system where there would be social justice and equality for all, a system in which the law would prevail and in which the opportunities denied to so many people during Apartheid would prevail. It has to continue to remain a beacon for our country,” he said.
Langa paid tribute to the disenfranchised citizens living on the margins of society. He also took the opportunity to decry the virulent excesses and megalomania exhibited today.
“South Africa needs to get back to thinking about what we want as a people collectively, what stirred us, inspired us to achieve democracy and left the world wondering in awe at the capacity to change our reality. Today, new generations, including the 2023 class of graduates, have a new struggle to champion, of battling against ignorance and self-defeating excesses and impulses,” said Langa.
Echoing his sentiments, Manganyi highlighted the importance of remaining committed to the ideal of a quality education for all. He also called on graduates to embody former President Nelson Mandela’s legacy and use their newly acquired knowledge and skills to make a positive contribution to the world.
Begho emphasised the need for technology-supported policies across the continent and the need for educational institutions to foster the tailoring of curricula towards global IT and digital development.