On Saturday, the 22nd of June 2013-, Professor Tinyiko Maluleke (Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Internationalization, Advancement and Student Affairs) and Prof Tshilidzi Marwala (Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Postgraduate Studies and the Library) received, on behalf of UJ Management, a memorandum from about 80 persons (some of whom were UJ students), who had marched illegally to demonstrate their opposition to the possible awarding of an honorary doctorate to US President, Barack Obama.
Speaking shortly after receiving the memorandum Prof Maluleke pointed out that receipt of the memorandum – which will be submitted to UJ Management for consideration – was neither an endorsement of the illegal march nor an endorsement of actions which fall outside the scope of university’s honorary degrees processes and policies.
The protesting group of about 80 persons constitute less than a percent of the UJ student population of 48000. In receiving the petition of the small group of protesters, the university seeks to demonstrate its commitment to the acknowledgement of different views without implying that the views received from the protesters are representative of the views of all UJ students or staff on this matter.
The possible awarding of an honorary doctorate to US President Barack Obama is being processed through the formal and rigorous university structures in accordance with the applicable policy provisions. Management will make an announcement once the process is complete.