The Durban University of Technology awarded an honorary doctorate in Management Sciences to human rights activist and legal expert, Judge Navi Pillay, today, 13 September 2017.
The charismatic, Judge Pillay was deeply honoured that DUT had chosen her as the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree, in recognition of her outstanding stance taken against injustice all over the world. She also spoke fondly of Judge Vuka Tshabalala, who had studied law with her in the 1960s, and was even more chuffed to have received her degree from a University that bears the name of the city, Durban.
Judge Pillay also congratulated all the graduates for their tremendous efforts and thanked their parents and guardians for their knowledge and guidance on them reaching such successes that they have achieved, today. She also added that graduates should remember that every individual can make a change in contributing to a better society.
“You will now go to pursue even greater heights in your life, and in your life choices as you are the new generation. You have been strengthened by great tools, we older generation never had. You have highly, electronic technology and unlimited research capacities, so I encourage you to go to greater heights using these tools,” she said.
She also spoke of one of her ground-breaking cases, which was the media case where it was found that hate speech amounted to genocide because of the hate propaganda spread by radio stations and journals. “We are now are now experiencing the whispers of hate speech in South Africa, it is very important to know that at the highest level, it was declared a crime if it mounts to the excitement. So, I am recounting these experiences to the graduates because I want to inspire you to be resilient and to work hard and to serve the greater good because nothing can be more gratifying than that.
Judge Pillay was the first South African to earn a Doctorate of Juridical Science from Harvard Law School in the USA, which is widely regarded as one of the most advanced law degrees offered by the institution. In 1995, former President Nelson Mandela nominated Dr Pillay as the first black woman to serve on the High Court of South Africa.
The ceremonies went live for and the live streaming was initiated by the University’s department of Audio Visual.
Pictured: Judge Navi Pillay is the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree, in recognition of her outstanding stance taken against injustice all over the world.