Item 1230 - Toespraak van President Mandela by Die Universiteit van Stellenbosch

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ZA COM MR-S-1230

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Toespraak van President Mandela by Die Universiteit van Stellenbosch

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  • 1994-09-26 (Creation)

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Transcription of speech made by Mr Mandela

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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Migrated from the Nelson Mandela Speeches Database (Sep-2018).

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  • English

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TRANSCRIPTION

Baie dankie vir die uitnodiging om weer u Universiteit hier in die pragtige Stellenbosch te kom besoek. Om sonder enige vrees vry te voel, kreatief te kan wees en idees met mekaar te deel, is 'n reg wat enige ware demokrasie moet beskerm en dit le aan die hart van wat 'n universiteit behoort te wees. Om hierdie reg werklik ten voile te kan benut, moet 'n wens die geleentheid he om jou voile potensiaal te bereik. In 'n land soos Suid Afrika waar die meerderheid van ons mense die reg tot
voile ontwikkeling ontse is moet ons hele gemeenskap diegene wat onderdruk is, maar veral ook hulle wat deur apartheid bevoordeel is - 'nfundamentele rekonstruksieproses ondergaan. Dit is in hierdie konteks wat ek graag vanmiddag 'n paar gedagtes by u wil laat oor die groot uitdagings wat die Herontwikkelings Opbouprogram aan ons universiteite stet - en clan
spesifiek aan 'n Universiteit soos Stellenbosch. Dit is atom bekend dat die Universiteit van Stellenbosch een van die histories wit, Afrikaanse, universiteite is wat besonder ryk bedeeld is. Ons almal ken die redes hiervoor en dit is nie no-dig om vanmiddag te veel te hailer op ons land se veel bewoe onderwysgeskiedenis van Bantoe Onderwys en blanke apartheidsbevoordeling nie. Die gevolg van hierdie geskiedenis is dat die Universiteit van Stellenbosch buitengewoon bale bates het in terme van infrastruktuur, navorsingskapasiteit, goed opgeleide dosente, 'n verskeidenheid van vakkursusse en 'n reputasie van hoe standaarde.

These are assets which can be employed to the benefit of our whole country. The Government of National Unity does not want to destroy these or take them away. To the contrary; we want to encourage the University of Stellenbosch to fully utilise your assets and to develop them further. In the past the privileges that were bequethed on you, and the assets that you have accumulated were primarily used for the development and political empowerment of the white, Afrikaner, minority. The crucial challenge that you now face, is to turn away from racial privilege and abuse of power, and to serve all of South Africa. To put it simply: The University of Stellenbosch belongs to the whole of South Africa, and it is your duty - I would also say: challenge and privilege! - to bring your actions in line with this reality. The predominantly white audience here today does not yet reflect this; but I am confident that you will face the challenge, and work towards a situation where the distribution of students and lecturing personnel will become far more representative of the South African population. We are aware that it will take time before the student population at Stellenbosch will reflect South Africa's population distribution. However it might not be good enough to only work with the students who are already here and to simply wait until more students from the oppressed communties eventually arrive on the campus. The resources that are available here must in an active and creative way be taken to those communities that are in greatest need. Such an approach implies also that your policy about Afrikaans as the medium of education will have to be adjusted in a way that will ensure that your considerable resources will be accessible to the broader South African community. Whatever language policy you follow it must enhance rather than limit this university's ability to share your resources with the broader community. It is obviously not enough to simply talk about the University's responsibilty towards the whole of South Africa. You have a specific and special responsibilty towards the oppressed and disadvantaged majority.

Hierdie verantwoordelikheid word juis so mooi saamgevat deur die Afrikaanse woord regstellende aksie. Wat eenvoudig beteken om reg to maak dit wat verkeerd was en nog steeds is. In hierdie verband wil ek ons waardering uitspreek vir die stappe wat die Senaat van u universiteit geneem het met die stigting van die Department van Ontwikkelingsaksies, wat met hul uitreikingsprogramme help onderwysers verder oplei en ook oorbrugingskursusse vir studente aanbied wat as gevolg van apartheidonderwys 'n agterstand het. Stellenbosch het maar redelik onlangs met hierdie regstellende projekte begin en uiteraard sal u nog veel verder moet gaan om werklik te voldoen aan die regmatige else wat die nuwe Suid-Afrika aan u stet. Maar u het 'n goeie begin gemaak en ons wit u ondersteun en aanmoedig om nou heelhartig aandag te gee aan diepgaande transformasie op die gebiede van navorsing, onderrig en dienslewering. So byvoorbeeld moet in ingeniuerswese, mediese opleiding, regsgeleerdheid en landbou - om maar net 'n paar te noem - studente voorberei word om die behoeftes van die meerderheid van ons mense aan te spreek. Natuurlik moet ons steeds dokters lewer wat die tegniese vermoe het om harte te kart oorplant, maar bale meer aandag moet spandeer word aan voorkomende geneeskunde en gemeenskapsgesondheid.

However, when emphasising the important contribution that the University of Stellenbosch can play in using its rich resources to the benefit of disadvantaged and impoverished communities, we must guard against the temptation for learned people in a privileged institution like this to think that they have the answers to relatively clear problems. It is not simply a matter of designing bridging courses in Maths or English/Afrikaans to assist students from disadvantaged communities. The Reconstruction and Development Programme challenges all of us, including people with many academic qualifications. The RDP is not only about the development of people out there in the townships and in the rural areas. The RDP is not only about the building of houses. While the walls of hundreds of thousands of houses must be built, there are other walls that must simultaneously be broken down. The "walls" of separation that apartheid erected in our minds and hearts, and which made us strangers for each other in our own country. Now that the walls of Jerico have finally also tumbled down in South Africa, it must not only be a situation where those who have previously been barred from a place like Stellenbosch University can now enter, but the privileged of Stellenbosch must also climb over the ruins of the walls of the mind-prisons in which they have been captured by apartheid. There is much that they can learn from the townships of our country. In the
long run the RDP will only be a success if we are all re-socialised and re-educated. In other words, it is not enough to continue more or less as before, with the only difference that your university's research, teaching and learning now try to include more people, from more sections of the South African population. Students and teachers at an institution like
this must all, in a sense, go back to school. Not the nice, warm, well-lit and well-equiped schools in the white communities, but the rundown and overcrowded buildings in most townships. In order to really make a contribution to the RDP by educating others Stellenbosch University will have to learn through listening. Listening to the needs and the experiences of
the children, youth and adults in Kaya Mandl (just down the road), Soweto, Guguletu and Mitchell's Plain. Only through this kind of process of truly reaching out and getting to know each other will all of us be liberated. Also here at this university with all its privilege and opportunities, you will be liberated from the many poverties of fear and limited human relationships which apartheid has subjected you to. Through such a process of mutual development and reconstruction we will be able to build true houses. Yes, they will look different from the plans drawn up in a professor's study, but they will not just be houses - they will be HOMES. I leave with you the following words from Chief Albert Luthuli's "Let My People Go": The task is not finished. South Africa is not yet a home for all her sons and daughters ....There remains before us the building of a new land, a home for people who are black, white, brown, from the ruins of the old narrow groups, a synthesis of the rich cultural strains we have inherited. There remains to be achieved our integration with the rest of our continent More than other continents, perhaps, and as much as any other nation on this continent, we need the ways of peace, the ways of
industry, the ways of concord.

Thank you

Baie Dankie

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Part of speech is in Afrikaans

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Acquisition method: Hardcopy ; Source: ANC Archives, Office of the ANC President, Nelson Mandela Papers, University of Fort Hare. Accessioned on 21/01/2010 by Zintle Bambata

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