Daily Dispatch

UFH honours SA’S football ‘godfather’


Setswana THE “godfather” of South African football, Leepile Moshweu Taunyane, was bestowed with an honorary doctorate by the University of Fort Hare (UFH) yesterday.

Taunyane, 84, received an honorary doctor of philosophy in education (PHD) at the university’s graduation ceremony in East London for his contributi­on to human rights and political activism.

The former champion of National Soccer League (NSL) trust for the needy and an honorary life president of the Premier Soccer League (PSL) couldn’t hold back his appreciati­on for the recognitio­n.

“Words are scarce to express this honour from my alma mater,” said Taunyane.

Taunyane, known for forming the PSL and Banyana Banyana, the national women’s soccer team, is also believed to have taught Orlando Pirates boss Irvin “the Iron Duke” Khoza during his school days in Johannesbu­rg.

The activist said UFH had played a vital role in promoting the education of black and coloured people.

The iconic figure said he remained optimistic the education system in the country could be restored despite negative reports and statements from politician­s.

“I call upon all of us to team up and get involved. UFH must rise up and help.”

He said a study had shown that more than 600 000 black graduates were unemployed. “This university should have a database of their graduates so that they know how many are employed.”

He said the alumni should set-up associatio­ns to assist those who could not find jobs and help to pay for studies.

UFH vice-chancellor Dr Mvuyo Tom said Taunyane was a good example of the quality of alumni produced by the institutio­n.

“He remains upright and can still clearly articulate his thoughts at the age of 84; that is remarkable,” said Tom.

Taunyane enrolled for a BA degree at UFH while the university was still a constituen­t college of Rhodes University, and graduated in 1959.

He is the author of a number of books which include:

An anthology on poems, Tswina; and

A book on the history of the Methodist Church in Africa, Matseka –a- Malala – Muila.

Earlier in the keynote address to the graduation, developmen­tal consultant Dr Vanguard Mkosana said South Africa was in dire need of intellectu­als to deal with deep-rooted racial prejudices and liberate the poor from abject poverty.

Mkosana, a former national

labour department director-general under then minister Membathisi Mdladlana, said there was a need for intellectu­al graduates to bring back morality and truth.

He said economic freedom should be achieved as part of all other freedoms in a democratic and developmen­tal state.

Reacting to former president F W de Klerk’s interview with an internatio­nal news network, where De Klerk reportedly defended the Bantustan system imposed by the apartheid regime, Mkosana said such statements were a reflection of deep-seated “racial prejudice or a cult”.

Yesterday’s ceremony marked the 89th graduation at the historic institutio­n, which has produced well-known freedom fighters like former president Nelson Mandela, Robert Sobukwe and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe among others.

The ceremonies will be held in East London and at the university’s main campus in Alice.

Degrees to be conferred throughout the week include 45 doctor of philosophy degrees (Phds), with the majority – 21 Phds – coming from the science and agricultur­e faculty followed by education with 11, social sciences and humanities with seven, management and commerce with five and the faculty of law with one.

UFH spokesman Mawande Mrashula said an increase in Phds came after the university had accepted a challenge from the department of higher education and training to universiti­es to increase their research, developmen­t and innovation in human capital for a growing knowledge economy, with a particular focus on postgradua­te degrees.

A total of 2 489 undergradu­ate and postgradua­te degrees are to be conferred this month.

Honorary doctorates will also be conferred on former Eastern Cape premier and sports minister Makhenkesi Stofile and struggle veteran Sadie Forman.


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