University Of Johannesburg Events, the following are the events in the University of Johannesburg.
Mogoeng is unshaken in his duties, says UJ’s Dr David Monyae
Dr David Monyae, the Co-Director of the University Of Johannesburg (UJ) Confucius Institute (UJCI), penned an opinion piece entitled “MOGOENG IS UNSHAKEN IN HIS DUTIES” published on Pretoria News, 28 November 2018.
The chief justice has with equal grace and vigour stood against his executive and parliamentary counterparts when the constitution was under threat, fought to protect the integrity of the continental judicial body the Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa (CCJA) and then sought to provide accountability from the national one by initiating a judiciary annual report. These few examples of the man’s moral fortitude shine like beacons of hope of what South African society can become.
The last decade in South Africa’s history can be described as one of the most politically turbulent since the formative years of our young democracy. Presidential recalls, multiple votes of no confidence, and an imploding ruling party flung the executive into a tailspin. This chaos was met with a legislature that blindly advocated for party loyalty over reason, so the proverbial buck demanded to be met with a judiciary resolute under unspeakable pressures. A judiciary that was led by a demure figure touted as a Zuma sympathiser upon his appointment by opposition squawkers. Oh, how they were mistaken.
During this tumultuous period the courts became the enforcer of individual rights meant to be upheld by public office bearers. These theatres of dispute settled matters of the outlandish vs rationale as in the case of the president’s claim that the renovations to his private residence worth a quarter of a billion – yes, with a “b” – were justified.
When the public protector’s report on this matter went to the president, the Ministry of Public Works and Parliament, it was sidelined as mere recommendations. But the Constitutional Court led by Mogoeng intervened, at the DA and EFF’s behest, and ruled that the president reimburse the national Treasury for the non-essential upgrades to his home.
During the CCJA General Assembly in Cape Town in April 2017, Mogoeng was elected president for a two-year term by his continental peers.
In this capacity he appeared at the AU Summit in January to advocate for a voice for the CCJA he represents to be heard as an operational equal in the matters of African interest as in the case with the AU Summit that acts as an executive arm, and the Pan-African Parliament that acts as the legislative arm.
Most recently, this month, Mogoeng presented the inaugural judicial annual report. This is the first of its kind in the history of the South African justice system. This report provides feedback on the budgets, caseloads, and performance of courts per case. This all culminates in a new form of accountability for our courts and when compared with the other branches of government as per the chief justice’s suggestion, one finds that quite a lot has been done with not very much. Both the initiative and the insight that emerged from it, point to Mogoeng as a prolific leader and judge to be able to not only prescribe good governance to others but to perform it himself in his own house.
After being rewarded with the coveted South African of the year honour in 2017 and being appointed as chancellor of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in the same year, he has enjoyed sustained confidence from the people of South Africa. He has shown that he, in this dire time, will be unshaken in his duties no matter the political pressure to do otherwise.
*The views expressed in the article is that of the author/s and does not necessarily reflect that of the University of Johannesburg
Giving voice to global Africans in Joburg and Barbados
Africa’s one billion people and its Diaspora’s 134 million citizens in the Caribbean, the Americas, and Europe constitute what is commonly known as “Global Africa.” Members of this group fought for the emancipation of black populations from the legacy of slavery and colonialism, and were active in South Africa’s anti-apartheid struggle. Since 1994, the bridges between Africa and its Diaspora have been broken, ironically during an era when a Kenyan-Kansan – Barack Obama – was president of the United States between 2009 and 2016. The African Union’s idea of the Diaspora as the continent’s sixth sub-region has also become an empty gesture, largely devoid of substance.
So, why is the Caribbean important to Africa?
The intellectual roots of Pan-Africanism were laid by the pioneering work of St. Thomas’s Edward Blyden in his 1887 classic Christianity, Islam and the Negro Race. Jamaica’s Marcus Garveyand Amy Ashwood Garvey built the largest black civil society movement in the world – the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA). Trinidadian lawyer, Henry Sylvester-Williams, was the moving force behind the First Pan-African Conference in London in 1900 which began the struggle for African liberation that culminated in the independence of most African states by the 1960s. Fellow Trinidadian scholar-activist, George Padmore, worked as an adviser to Ghana’s founding president, Kwame Nkrumah.
Another Nkrumah adviser was St. Lucia’s Arthur Lewis who remains the only black Nobel prize winner in economics, and championed multi-party democracy across Africa. Martinique’s Frantz Fanon was instrumental in philosophising the need for Africa’s post-independence political and socio-economic revolution, and opposed France’s savage war against Algerian independence (1954-1962). Jamaica’s Dudley Thompson assembled the legal team in 1952 that defended Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta from charges of being an instigator of the Mau Mau rebellion against British colonial rule, and was also a founding member of Julius Nyerere’s Tanganyika African National Union (TANU).
Trinidad’s C.L.R. James was a pioneering voice in Post-Colonial Studies and a political activist who focused centrally on Subaltern Studies. His 1938 Black Jacobins remains a classic of the Haitian revolution. In the 1960s and 1970s, Jamaican sociologist and cultural theorist, Stuart Hall – one of the pioneers of the “Birmingham School of Cultural Studies” – incorporated issues of race, gender, and hegemony into the field of Cultural Studies. Guyanese scholar-activist, Walter Rodney – a pioneering member of the Dar es Salaam School of Political Economy – traced the roots of African underdevelopment to European colonialism in his famous 1972 treatise How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Rodney consistently lamented the consumerist rather than the productive nature of African economies and the general lack of savings across the continent. A more contemporary scholar, Barbadian historian, Hilary Beckles, has insisted that European nations pay reparations to Caribbeans and Africans for four centuries of slavery, arguing that African governments betrayed the reparations movement at the United Nations (UN) Conference on Racism in Durban in 2001.
Caribbean citizens also contributed to the cultural emancipation of Global Africa. Pan-Africanism represented the reaction by the black African Diaspora to white racism, and Martinique’s Aimé Césaire developed the idea of négritude which glorified black culture, and affirmed the worth and dignity of black people across the globe. Bahamian-American actor, Sidney Poitier, was the first black winner of an Oscar in 1964. St. Lucia’s poet-playwright, Derek Walcott, won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992. Haitian-American film director, Raoul Peck, produced tragic tales on Patrice Lumumba and the Rwandan genocide (Sometimes in April). Grenadian-Trinidadian British director, Steve McQueen, produced the Oscar-winning best film, 12 Years A Slave. African cultural decolonization was further waged through the radical reggae rhythms of Jamaica’s Bob Marley, and the fiery calypso rhythms of Jamaican-Martiniquan American, Harry Bellafonte.
Caribbean countries – notably Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago – also contributed enormously to the anti-apartheid struggle both bilaterally and through supporting the multilateral activities of the UN, the Commonwealth, and the Non-Aligned Movement. Guyanese public servants went to work in post-independence Zambia. About 2,000 disproportionately black Cuban soldiers – the descendants of former African slaves – also died fighting for South Africa’s liberation in Angola between 1975 and 1988. Their sacrifices are now commemorated in Freedom Park near Tshwane.
To revive Global Africa, the AU could invite Caribbean leaders to participate in its meetings, and host annual AU-CARICOM (the Caribbean Community) summits. This would give concrete substance to the idea of the Diaspora as Africa’s sixth sub-region. It is also essential to promote a civil society-led movement from Kinshasa to Kingston, from Bahia to Boston to Birmingham.
Professor Adekeye Adebajo is Director of the University of Johannesburg’s Institute for Pan-African Thought and Conversation.
UJ and UWI reaffirm partnership with the launch of the joint Institute for Global African Affairs in the Caribbean
Yesterday, 26 November, the Vice-Chancellors of the UWI and UJ, Prof Sir Hilary Beckles and Prof Marwala, respectively, unveiled the plaque at UWI’s Cave Hill Campus in Barbados, West Indies.
Also in attendance was a UJ delegation comprising Prof Adekeye Adebajo, Director, Institute for Pan-African Thought and Conversation, UJ, Dr Bongani Ngqulunga (Co-Director: Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study), Prof Angina Parekh (Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic) and Dr Nolitha Vukuza (Senior Executive Director: University Relations). This follows a complete launch of the joint Institute for Global African Affairs on Monday, 5 November 2018 at UJ.
The Institute will foster a research and teaching exchange programme between the two institutions of higher learning. The Institute, which was inaugurated at UJ’s Institute for Pan-African Thought and Conversation (IPATC), is a culmination of a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between the two universities that was signed in March 2017.
The flagship programme of this historical Institute is the establishment of a joint Master’s in Global African Affairs, focusing on the emerging role of Global Africa in the 21st Century. Both parties agreed to establish the Institute by appointing Directors in Johannesburg and Barbados to manage the entities; disseminate its work; and identify and support scholars to implement the tasks.
This special 10-year agreement has been hailed as a milestone that will see the two universities cementing a relationship on advancing academic African affairs and their global themes.
During the launch at UJ on 5 November 2018, Prof Tshilidzi Marwala, UJ Vice-Chancellor and Principal, chaired a panel discussion during the UJ launch on “Global Africa in the Post-Apartheid Era”. Other prominent speakers included Prof Alan Cobley, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies; Her Excellency Ms Angella Comfort, Jamaica’s High Commissioner to South Africa; Prof Arthur Mutambara, Former Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe; Prof Shahana Rasool, Head of The Department of Social Work, at the UJ; and Prof Adekeye Adebajo, Director, Institute for Pan-African Thought and Conversation, UJ.
Prof Marwala and Prof Cobley shared common interests during the launch, which included a panel discussion on “Global Africa in the Post-Apartheid Era”. Prof Marwala said: “We take this relationship extremely seriously. UJ does not normally sign MoAs of more than five years. However, this was a special agreement because it addresses special issues.
“We will launch a course in the Humanities to advance decolonisation for a joint Master’s degree addressing Pan-African Thought Scholarship, conflict resolution, black popular culture, economic development, just to mention a few. We look forward to having a fruitful mutual relationship with the University of the West Indies.”
Prof Cobley concurred: “At a time in our historical development when The University of the West Indies is expanding its global footprint and solidifying its global ranking, the establishment of the UJ-UWI Institute for Global African Affairs marks another significant step. I must say that this is a particularly exciting moment.”
Prof Arthur Mutambara said entrepreneurship, technology, and efficient governance all rest on education. Therefore, the launch of this institute has the global good for Pan-Africanism.”
The highlight of the event was the unveiling of the plaque at the entrance of IPATC offices in Moseley Street, Auckland Park. Later this month, 26 November 2018, a delegation of UJ will travel to the UWI, which will launch the Institute for Global African Affairs at its Cave Hill Campus in Barbados.
“While Africa’s one billion people and its Diaspora’s 134 million citizens in the Caribbean, the Americas, Europe, and across ‘Global Africa’ are still on a painful quest to reverse the colonial legacy and achieve peace and democratic governance, the continent has recorded some success in the socio-economic, political and cultures realms,” said Prof Adebajo at the launch.
“Africa must therefore rebuild bridges with its Diaspora, and the establishment of this Institute for Global Africa Affairs with the University of the West Indies is a civil society contribution to these efforts, in contrast to the sterile intergovernmental AU efforts to declare a ‘sixth region’ that is totally devoid of substance,” he added.