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Top honour for South Africans

Top honour for South Africans

Media statement by Prof Nqabomzi Gawe, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Institutional Support

Durban University of Technology (DUT) is proud to announce that it will bestow honorary doctoral awards on key individuals, who have made a significant contribution to society’s development and South Africa’s liberation struggle, during its 2011 April Graduation Ceremony.
As a leading University of Technology, DUT recognises the role of mechanical engineer Gordon Murray, philanthropist and humanitarian Malukmahomed Lappa Sultan and political activists Harold Strachan and Stephen Bantu Biko, for their contribution to society’s development. More than 4500 students will graduate from across six faculties at ceremonies held from 18-21 April at Steve Biko Campus and 14 April at Indumiso Site, Midlands Campus.

Graduation Figures per Faculty

Management Sciences: 1394 including 1 DTech
Faculty of Applied Sciences: 273 including 1 DTech
Faculty of Accounting & Informatics: 979
Faculty of Arts and Design: 521
Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment: 799
Faculty of Health Sciences: 540

Honorary Doctoral Awards
Harold Strachan, Faculty of Arts and Design
Monday, 18 April 2011 at 9am
Contact details: 031 202 9892

Stephen Bantu Biko, Faculty of Arts and Design
Monday, 18 April 2011 at 1pm,
Biko’s son, Nkosinathi: 011 403 0310

Malukmahomed Lappa Sultan, Faculty of Management Sciences
Tuesday, 19 April 2011 at 1pm
Grandson, Yunus Sultan: 083 555 4667

Gordon Murray, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment
Thursday, 21 April 2011 at 5pm
Contact: Jenna.Barnes@gordonmurraydesign.com

Profiles of Honorary Doctors

Harold Strachan, political activist, writer and artist
Harold Strachan was born in 1925 in Pretoria. He obtained a BA (Fine Arts) from the University of Pretoria and won an Emma Smith Scholarship to study at the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, London and at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Kunste in Stuttgart, Germany. As an artist, Strachan worked closely with Selby Mvusi in the 1950s.

Strachan was an anti-apartheid activist and was one of the few early members of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the military wing of the ANC. He trained MK cadres in explosives and his anti-government stance during the 1960s and 1970s led to house arrests and prison terms. Before his arrest, he worked underground with Govan Mbeki within Port Elizabeth area and was involved in publishing a newsletter.

Due to Strachan’s political commitments, he had little opportunity to truly manifest himself as an artist during the struggle. However, his work is now represented in the Durban Art Gallery collection and in private collections in South Africa.

In 1998, Strachan published Way Up, Way Out. The book was the first of an autobiographical trilogy about growing up in South Africa between the two World Wars.

Stephen Bantu Biko, political activist and founder of Black Consciousness Movement
Stephen Bantu Biko was born in King Williams Town, Eastern Cape. He was the father of the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM). He was a militant and a dynamic activist in the late 1960s, until his death in 1977 whilst in police custody. He made a monumental contribution to the liberation of South Africa and is regarded as one of South Africa original thinkers. Biko’s writings, encapsulated in the book I Write What I Like has inspired millions across the globe. He is survived by his wife, Ntsiki Biko and his sons, Nkosinathi and Hlumelo. The University has acknowledged Biko by naming one of its campuses after him and holds an annual Steve Biko Memorial Lecture in his memory of his commitment to humanity.

Hajee Malukmahomed Lappa Sultan (ML Sultan), philanthropist and humanitarian
ML Sultan was born in Southern India and came to South Africa in 1880. On his arrival in the then Natal province, he undertook menial jobs to survive. He worked as a porter and eventually became a farmer, specializing in bananas, paw paws and pineapples. A deeply spiritual man, he later established himself as a businessman in Durban, both running a goods shop and investing in property. In 1905 he married Mariam Bee with whom he had 10 children.

At the time, the apartheid government neglected education for blacks, Sultan dreamt of providing Indians in South Africa with the same educational opportunities as their white counterparts. In 1949 he realised his dream with the launch of the ML Sultan Charitable and Educational Fund, which raised 100 000 pounds of which 33 000 pounds went towards the construction of a technical college for so-called “non-whites”.

The ML Sultan Technical College on Centenary Road in Durban, opened its doors on the 7 August 1956, with 240 full-time students and 4 760 part-time students. Branches of the college were opened in Pietermaritzburg, North Coast and the South Coast. It was part of Sultan’s plan to take education to as many people as possible.
Sultan died on 6 September 1953, a few days after being informed of a grant by the Durban City Council, which allowed the college to formally adopt his name. The college established by Sultan, continues to this day. It merged with the former Natal Technikon to form the Durban Institute of Technology, now known as Durban University of Technology.

Gordon Murray, mechanical engineer
Murray is a Mechanical Engineering graduate from the former Natal Technical College, now Durban University of Technology. He is also a recipient of the Silver Tusk Award which he received at DUT’s Convocation Alumni Awards Banquet, in 2008. The award is traditionally presented to alumni who have made significant achievements in their respective fields.

Murray was born and grew up in Durban, South Africa. His father was a motorcycle racer and later prepared racing cars. He built and raced his own car, the IGM Ford, in the South African National Class in 1967 and 1968. Gordon Murray is a renowned designer of Formula One race cars and the McLaren F1 road car.
April 2011 Graduation Guest Speakers

Prof Relebohile Moletsane will address graduates on 14 April at the Midlands Campus, Indumiso Site at the 10am session. Inspirational entrepreneur, Sesifikile Booksellers founder and Managing Director, Zinhle Sokhela will address graduates on 14 April at Midlands Campus, Indumiso Site at the 2pm session.

Prof Umesh Lalloo, from the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, will be the guest speaker at the Faculty of Health Sciences graduation ceremony on 18 April at 5pm.

Chief Executive of SETA, Mr Joel Dikgole will speak at the Faculty of Management Sciences ceremony on 19 April at 10:00am.

Durban KZN Convention Bureau CEO, James Seymour will be the guest speaker at the Faculty of Management Sciences graduation ceremony on 19 April at 5am.

Mr Nicholas Johnson of Deloitte and Touche will address graduates at the Accounting and Informatics ceremony on 20 April 10:00am.

Accounting and Informatics graduates will be addressed by Zameera Ally of Ernst and Young on 20 April at 1pm and by Prof Lindsay Mitchell of the University of KwaZulu-Natal at the 5pm session.

Technology Innovation Agency CEO, Simphiwe Duma will address graduates at the Faculty of Applied Sciences ceremony on 21 April at 9am.

Group Executive of Regulatory Affairs at Telkom, Dr Andrew Barendse will speak at the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment ceremony on 21 April at 2pm.