King’s doctorate raises questions
KING Goodwill Zwelithini was at the University of Zululand yesterday to be awarded with an honorary doctorate in social work.
The honour is in recognition of King Zwelithini’s outstanding role in the social welfare of rural communities and the fight against HIV/Aids.
It has been questioned, though, by academics and the community‚ as the university attempts to obtain the title deeds for the land on which it is built.
The Ingonyama Trust‚ which administers 2.8-million hectares of land in KwaZulu-Natal on behalf of Zwelithini‚ is working with local Inkosi Mandla Mkhwanazi‚ to transfer the land to the university.
Former Unizul academic Musa Xulu‚ who is now a businessman‚ said: “The University of Zululand‚ probably one of the most confused universities this side of the equator‚ if not in the world‚ has decided to honour our king with an honorary doctorate.
“An honorary doctorate is an honoris causa offered by the uni- versity through its senate‚ which is its highest academic decision-making body.”
He said the university had previously honoured the king in 1994 with an honorary degree in agriculture. “Now‚ how does an institution honour the same person with honoris causa twice?
“This is not a PhD and does not come from departments.
“Something is not right here.
“If newspaper reports are to be trusted then the University of Zululand is planning something quite bad‚ and wants to drag our king into it.
“No we shall protect the dignity of our king. I rule that the HC graduation for our king at UniZul is extremely unacademic. Prove me wrong.”
The Zulu monarch was accompanied by Queen Thandi MaNdlovu‚ Queen Zola KaMafu as well as several members of the Zulu royal family.
Deputy President David Mabuza was expected to deliver the keynote address.
University officials did not immediately respond to queries.
KING GOODWILL ZWELITHINI