5 December 2014 South Africa marked one year since Nelson Mandela passed away at his Johannesburg home, after many months of ailing health. The world mourned his departure, the loss of one of its greatest inspirations.
The University of KwaZulu-Natal has been privileged and honoured to be associated with our iconic statesman, former President Nelson Mandela. The 48th ANC National Conference took place in the Sports Centre, Westville Campus from the 2 – 6th July 199, where ANC President OR Tambo officially opened the conference, and at this conference on the 5th July 1991, Nelson Mandela succeeded Oliver Tambo as President of the ANC.
UKZN has awarded him two honorary degrees – in 1993 he received an honorary doctorate from the former University of Natal-Durban, and in 1999 from the former University of Durban-Westville. On 29 July 2000, he lent his name to the University’s medical school, which is now known as: the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine. His deep commitment to improve the lives of the poor and vulnerable in our society was at the forefront of his vision as the first President in a democratic South Africa.
In his speech at the naming of the medical school, he said: “The challenges are great. We cannot grow in the competitive modern world without producing trained and educated professionals of the highest quality. We cannot survive and sustain ourselves without fighting and eradicating preventable disease, and creating the circumstances for healthy living amongst the masses of our people.”
Madiba valued education as a powerful force that drove individual and national change. With education one could change one’s fortunes and one could change the fortunes of nations. His famous words “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”– Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
|Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela at UKZN|