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Rhodes > AGCLE > Latest News

Prof Pityana set to 'retire from retirement'

Date Released: Tue, 8 July 2014 10:00 +0200

USING the words of former South Africa president Nelson Mandela, Professor Barney Pityana will be "retiring from retirement" when he steps down as rector of the Grahamstown College of the Transfiguration at the end of the year.

Pityana, who started at the college in 2011, said his immediate plan was to continue assisting the college for another six months to help settle in his replacement, Dr Vicencia Kgabe. "After that, I am hoping to spend about a year or two overseas," he said. "I have applied for some research fellowships at European universities. In the short term, I am committed to researching and writing and, hopefully, publishing a book or two." Pityana was ordained as a minister in July 1983 at Christ Church Oxford in England and spent years abroad before moving back to the Eastern Cape. He said he had decided to resign from his current post because there was a lot more he could be doing with his retirement. "I retired in December 2010 when I was principal and vice-chancellor of the University of South Africa.

I then accepted an invitation from the Archbishop of Cape Town to take over as rector of the College of the Transfiguration, an Anglican theological college in Grahamstown. "This is my fourth and final year. In December, to quote late President Mandela, 'I shall be retiring from retirement'," he said yesterday. The sometimes controversial Pityana, 68, who was born in Uitenhage and studied at the University of Fort Hare, said he believed he had done what he had been tasked with at the college and it was time to move on.

"The college is now a [provisionally] registered higher education institution, and that it is now accredited to offer its own qualifications, Diploma in theology and BTh; and that the Anglican ethos and character of the college is now firmly in place and the quality of training, education and formation of Anglican candidates for the ministry have now been enhanced. "We have also begun the task of renewal of the college.

I am very pleased with what my colleagues and I have achieved during my tenure at the college." He said he would be retiring officially to his farm in Addo, where he hoped to spend most of his time. "With grandchildren in Pretoria, I will spend some of our time there. My academic pursuits will be involved in large measure with continuing to work with Rhodes University Centre for Leadership Ethics, where I am currently honorary visiting professor. "I will also continue to work with the School of Law at Unisa, where I am also emeritus professor," he said.

Pityana said his replacement, Kgabe, was a young Anglican priest and theologian of whom he was proud. "She has achieved so much in a short period of time. She is a real inspiration to many young South Africans in our time." — gqiranat@timesmedia.co.za

Source:Daily Dispatch