JOHANNESBURG – UJ’s Auckland Park Kingsway (APK) campus hosted several esteemed guests at its auditorium on Monday evening for the inauguration of its new Vice Chancellor (VC), Professor Tshilidzi Marwala.
The inauguration was well attended, with honourable guests such as the former President Thabo Mbeki, current Minister of Higher Education and Training, Naledi Pandor, Minister of Transport, Dr. Blade Nzimande, ANC Treasurer General Paul Mashatile and Buti Manamela, the Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training among many other current and former ministers as well as chancellors.
The appointment of Professor Marwala came after last year’s rigorous and lengthy selection process. The new VC had already taken office since 1st January 2018 and was described as a transformational leader by guests offering messages of congratulations on behalf of the Senate, students and council members of the University.
Marwala had the support of all the structures behind him, including that of the Student Representative Council (SRC): “You are an inspiration, a goal and we believe in you Prof,” said the UJ SRC President, Clifford Petla.
The famous poet Mandi Vundla described him as a “molecule of hope” and all that were in attendance concurred. “We have all the confidence in you that you will take UJ to new heights,” said Dr Blade Nzimande, Minister of Transport.
Further support was shown by Minister of Higher Education, Naledi Pandor, “This shows how far we’ve travelled on the road to transformation. You are living evidence of the immense possibilities that exist in our country.”
Professor Marwala is preceded by an extended resume, having previously been a Deputy Vice Chancellor of Research and Internationalisation and prior to that holding the position of an Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the University among many international accolades.
In his inaugural address, Professor Marwala emphasized the importance of embracing the Fourth Industrial Revolution where an adaptive nature is incorporated in learning, especially in the fields of science and technology.
The auspicious occasion was concluded with festivities of food and refreshments in the marquee set up contiguous to the Student Centre at APK.
(Contact Nokuthula Msimango: firstname.lastname@example.org)