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UJ honours iconic figures with 2016 Alumni Dignitas and Ellen Kuzwayo Council Award

A Judge of the Constitutional Court, an entrepreneurial hotelier, and a visual/performance artist were honoured with University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Alumni Awards on Friday, 25 November 2016.

Since 2005, the UJ Alumni Dignitas Awards have celebrated the achievements of UJ alumni who have excelled in their respective fields.

“As a University, we are represented by the graduates we produce,” said Ms Suzan Hlahane, Acting Senior Manager: Alumni and Special Projects, UJ. “Our standing in the eyes of the world is directly linked to our alumni’s achievements and their contributions to society.”


The 2016 UJ Alumni Dignitas recipients were:

Judge Boissie Henry Mbha for his outstanding achievement of reaching the highest Judicial Office of the land, commanding a high level of respect in the legal fraternity, demonstrating leadership in the field, serving society in the broadest sense through commitment to constitutional principles and upholding the rule of law, and giving selflessly to the community.

Arthur Gillis for his remarkable pioneering leadership, outstanding achievement in business, epitomising true entrepreneurship, and being a contributor to the establishment of UJ’s School of Tourism and Hospitality.

Lerato Mmathapelo Thato Shadi for her significant contribution to social cohesion, promoting advocacy and development of the Pan-African society through her art.

At the same event, the Council of the University honoured three recipients with the Ellen Kuzwayo Award.

Prof Roy Marcus, Chairperson of UJ Council, said that this award recognises outstanding contributions beyond the confines of teaching and research. “These individuals promoted the well-being of the higher education sector and society over an extended period of time,” he observed.

The 2016 Ellen Kuzwayo Council Award recipients were:

Joyce Piloso-Seroke for her national and international activism for a democratic society and the empowerment of South African women.

Trueman Tandabantu Goba for his transforming engineering leadership and mentoring, impacting critical national infrastructure in South Africa.

Dr Osman Ebrahim for his trailblazing, compassionate care of people affected by HIV/AIDS and improvements in HIV treatment through research and teaching.

Both the UJ Alumni Dignitas and Ellen Kuzwayo Council Awards are in the form of a specially minted medallion and an accompanying protocol.

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