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Rhodes council gets its first black chairperson

Date Released: Thu, 20 March 2014 13:00 +0200

THE Rhodes University management yesterday announced the institution's new council chairperson, Vuyo Kahla, following the departure of judge Jos Jones who stepped down last week.

Jones' departure from the Grahamstown-based university followed the sudden resignation of the vice- chancellor Saleem Badat who has since joined the US's Andrew W Mellon Foundation as programme director for its international higher education and strategic projects.

Kahla, who becomes Rhodes University's first black council chairperson, has served both as its council member and member of the board of governors.

Kahla's education sector profile includes being the chairperson of the Council of St John's College in Johannesburg, a member of the University of South Africa (Unisa) council and chairperson of the Unisa Audit and Enterprise Risk Management Committee - until his retirement from that council in June last year.

The university registrar, Stephen Fourie, said he looked forward to Kahla's contribution to the council, particularly as he will lead the process of selecting a new vice-chancellor.

Fourie said Kahla's duties as the new council chairperson commenced immediately after the election at the council meeting held on Thursday last week.

Kahla said his appointment to the important position had humbled him.

"I'm counting on the collective wisdom of my council colleagues, academic and non-academic staff and student leaders to ensure that we sustain the momentum of transformation and progress that has characterised the era of Jones and the outgoing vice-chancellor, Dr Badat.

Kahla's professional life includes having been an assistant legal adviser to Nelson Mandela.

He was also special adviser to the then national director of public prosecution, Bulelani Ngcuka and chief legal adviser to the then minister of finance, Trevor Manuel.

By Sithandiwe Velaphi

Source: The New Age

Photo: Mr Vuyo Kahla

Source:The New Age