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Honorary doctorate for Epainette Mbeki

Date Released: Thu, 29 March 2012 13:00 +0200

RHODES University will confer an honorary doctorate on seasoned human rights campaigner Epainette Mbeki, now aged 92, at its April graduation ceremonies.

Better known as "MaMbeki", the mother of former president Thabo Mbeki will receive the honorary doctorate because she had served as "a profound South Africa symbol of exceptional human endeavour and unwavering commitment to educational advancement and social development", said the university in a statement. The university will also confer honorary doctorates on veteran media freedom champion Ray Louw, Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee, former head of the Two Oceans Aquarium Professor Mike Bruton, and co-founder of Anglo Suisse Investment Holdings and philanthropist Geoffrey de Jager, it said.

The Rhodes University honorary doctorate recognises individuals who have shown leadership and made contributions to various sectors in society, said the university.

It said Louw had been a passionate and effective advocate for the advancement of free speech and press freedom for decades.

"He is also known in Africa and internationally for championing media freedom even beyond South Africa."

Bruton was an excellent scientist who had made huge contributions to the popularisation of the public understanding of science and access to it, said the university.

Gbowee is currently the executive director of the Women Peace and Security Network in Accra, Ghana.

In the early 2000s, she worked as a social worker in her native wartorn, Liberia and organised the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace, which is credited with forcing then notorious dictator and warlord Charles Taylor into peace talks.

The university said De Jager was being recognised for his "long and distinguished business career" and his philanthropy. He had given "substantial support to education, heritage, social justice and the environment".

The graduation ceremonies will be held from April 12 -14.

By Adrienne Carlisle

Source: Daily Dispatch

Photo source: Myfundi website

 

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