UKZN’s founding Chair of Council, Dr Vincent
Maphai (left) and Vice-Chancellor and Principal,
Professor Malegapuru Makgoba.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal bid farewell to its founding
Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, at a year-end UKZN
Council dinner held at the Maharani Hotel in Durban.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Teaching and Learning, Professor
Renuka Vithal, directed the programme and looked back on Makgoba’s decade of
achievements and struggles, highlighting the leading role he played in Higher
Education and science globally.

In recognising his contribution to the University, Chair of
Council, Mrs Phumla Mnganga, commended him for fighting a good fight and
finishing the race ahead of his peers.

‘You have infused UKZN with an understanding of African
Scholarship – the understanding that African scholarship must engage with the
global knowledge systems on its own terms.’

Keynote speaker and Chair of the National Research
Foundation, Professor Loyiso Nongxa, described Makgoba as humble, shy and
brave.

Wishing him well on his retirement, Nongxa said: ‘We look
forward to your next contribution to this country of ours.’ Nongxa
congratulated the University on its achievements over the past 10 years.

Reflecting on his life, career and his time at UKZN, Makgoba
said the love and care a person received from others was what made them
successful in life. He grew up with love from his family, from people in his
village and from his friends.

Makgoba acknowledged the three Chairs of Council he had
served under. He thanked the founding UKZN Chair of Council, Dr Vincent Maphai,
for teaching him how to think; Mr Mac Mia for teaching him how to govern, and
the current Chair, Mrs  Mnganga, for teaching him how to be human. 

Makgoba said the role of the Council was to appoint the
Vice-Chancellor and not to micro manage the person.  ‘I hope that
tradition stays. You select the Vice-Chancellor and support him.’ 

He thanked members of Executive Management for their hard
work and also the Student Representative Council and SASCO who convinced him to
come back to South Africa and gave him a ‘clear mandate’ of transformation.

‘For me the most important thing about being a
Vice-Chancellor of any University is to be able to love students and be there
for them.’ 

It was announced at the dinner that the administration
building on the Westville campus has been named the MW Makgoba Administration
Building and a plaque unveiled recording that.

It was also announced that the Malegapuru Makgoba Lecture
would be held annually at UKZN.