It’s time for celebration on all campuses of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) as thousands of students reap the fruits of their studies and hard work at the 2018 graduation ceremonies.

The ceremonies – in Durban and Pietermaritzburg from 16 April to 24 April – will see students graduate in various fields in the four Colleges: Agriculture, Engineering and Science; Health Sciences; Humanities; and Law and Management Studies.

Degrees will be conferred on 9410 graduands of whom 62.2 percent are women and on 80 who are disabled, while 259 will receive doctorates.

A total of 112 students will be awarded their degrees summa cum laude and 322 cum laude.

All these successes are an indication of how UKZN epitomises, celebrates and inspires excellence.

Recently-appointed UKZN Chancellor, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, will preside over a number of ceremonies.


Deputy Chief Justice of South Africa Justice Ray Zondo will deliver the 16th Victoria and Griffiths Mxenge Memorial Lecture on 19 April at 18h00 as well as the keynote address as a guest speaker at the Law Graduation Ceremony at 10h00 on 20 April.

Zondo served part of his articles of clerkship under the late Ms Victoria Mxenge, an activist who was slain during the apartheid era.

After admission as an attorney, Zondo became a partner at the law firm, Mathe and Zondo Incorporated, where he practised for several years before being appointed a Judge. Justice Zondo served on two committees of the Commission of Inquiry regarding the Prevention of Public Violence and Intimidation (also known as the Goldstone Commission), which investigated violence in South Africa during the early 1990s.

Justice Zondo was appointed as a member of the Ministerial Task Team given the task of producing a draft Labour Relations Bill for post-apartheid South Africa. With certain amendments, that Bill was later passed as the Labour Relations Act 1995. In 1996 he was appointed first chairperson of the Governing Body of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

He was appointed Judge President of the Labour Appeal Court and Labour Court for a term of office of ten years, and later as a Judge of the Constitutional Court.

On 1 June 2017, Justice Zondo was appointed Deputy Chief Justice of South Africa.

Managing Principal of the Absa Group in KwaZulu-Natal Mr Faisal Mkhize is a guest speaker at the UKZN graduation ceremony being held from 14h30 on 19 April.

Mkhize, who was a Managing Director of Barclays Bank in Mozambique for more than two years, has served in a number of senior roles at ABSA, including Head of Market Leadership and Change in Absa Business Bank.

He currently serves as a non-executive director for the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Durban Chamber of Commerce.

Mkhize began his education at the former University of Durban-Westville where he earned his Bachelor of Administration Honours degree, later obtaining various postgraduate qualifications in Business Management.  His other leadership training interventions include a Global Leadership Programme at the Gordon Institute of Business Science and Challenge of Leadership at the INSEAD Institute in France.   He recently completed his Masters of Development Finance degree at the University of Stellenbosch.



Honorary doctorates will be awarded to three key individuals in recognition of their outstanding contribution in their various respective fields in society.

They are:

  1. Professor Tebello Nyokong has contributed significantly to enhancing the reputation of Science in Africa and undertaken formal international collaborations with counterparts in several countries. Nyokong is the recipient of the prestigious Adjunct Professorship from the University of Tromso in Norway.

In recognition of Nyokong’s outstanding contribution to South Africa as an extraordinary researcher whose remarkable spirit, hard work and dedication continues to uplift the South African science system, UKZN is awarding her its highest honour, Doctor of Science (honoris causa).

Nyokong will receive her honorary doctorate at 10h00 on 18 April on the Westville campus.


  1. Mr Trueman Tandabantu Goba has made a significant contribution to engineering leadership and mentoring in the design and construction of critical national infrastructure in South Africa. The first black African South African to graduate in Civil Engineering from UKZN, he has gone on to be the founder member of one of the world’s largest international Civil Engineering Consultancies, Hatch Goba.

In recognition of Goba’s outstanding achievements in engineering, UKZN awards him its highest honour, Doctor of Engineering (honoris causa).

Goba will receive his honorary doctorate at 19h00 on 18 April on the Westville campus.


  1. Dr Pali Lehohla was the Statistician General of South Africa and head of Statistics South Africa from 2000 to November 1, 2017.

In recognition of Lehohla’s unprecedented role in evidence-based decision making and advocating for statistics in policy making in South Africa and beyond its borders, UKZN awards him its highest honour, Doctor of Science (honoris causa).

Lehohla will receive his honorary doctorate at 19h00 on 23 April on the Pietermaritzburg campus.



The University will bestow distinguished teachers’ awards upon three academics for their outstanding work in teaching.

They are:

  1. Professor Naven Chetty, who is an Associate Professor in the School of Chemistry and Physics in the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science. Chetty, acutely aware of the context in which he teaches and the capabilities and needs of the students he teaches, has an excellent rapport with students. His teaching follows a constructivist approach and includes clear and well-structured modules using innovative teaching methods. Chetty is recognised for his excellent teaching portfolio and use of educational media and learning material. He uses innovative and novel ways to disseminate knowledge to techno-savvy students, including numerous applications which students find helpful and enjoyable.


  1. Professor Gueguim Kana, who is an Associate Professor in the School of Life Sciences in the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science. Kana teaches an interdisciplinary module and is cognisant of challenges faced by students with diverse learning experiences. Kana is recognised for his excellent teaching portfolio which reflects a student-centred approach and for his use of educational media and learning material, informed by innovative technological tools. Some of his accomplishments include developing an Online wikispace classroom for collaborative learning, using web-based interactive tools to teach students how to study (My SMART STUDY ENGINE) and receiving a Teaching Innovation and Quality Enhancement Grant to develop automated tools for delivering short bytes to students using SMS.


  1. Dr Ansurie Pillay who is a senior lecturer in the School of Education in the College of Humanities. Pillay is recognised for her excellent teaching portfolio and promotion of transformative education for social justice and change. She has a good understanding of students and the South African Higher Education context and has made an extensive contribution in curricular development activities, including recurriculation of English for Bachelor of Education; development of a compulsory core English curriculum for first-year students and two postgraduate Certificate in Education modules. She exceeded Senate norms by graduating 12 Honours and nine Master of Science (MSc) candidates. She also supervised five Doctor of Philosophy (PhD); three Master of Science (MSc) and two Honours students. An external examiner for PhD and MSc theses, Pillay serves on the Elsevier Advisory Panel and is a reviewer for scientific journals.


The Distinguished Teachers’ Award is one of the highest honours in academia.  The Distinguished Teachers’ Award requires candidates not only to be outstanding teachers demonstrating successful and effective learning outcomes, but also to have made a sustained contribution to teaching and learning through: demonstrated contribution to the innovation and improvement of teaching and learning practices within the candidate’s discipline or School and in community engagement; demonstrated contribution to curriculum and/or materials development in the discipline; and/or demonstrated reflection on practice translated into the scholarship of teaching.