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Unisa: Renaming of buildings to instill dignity in all students

Unisa said it hoped that renaming its buildings after struggle icons and black academics would show previously excluded students that they belonged at the institution.

Unisa honoured the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Prof Simon Radipere and Mr Anton Lembede by naming three buildings at the Muckleneuk campus after them. Picture: @unisa/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Unisa said it hoped that renaming its buildings after struggle icons and black academics would show previously excluded students that they belonged at the institution.

Unisa has renamed three buildings in its Muckleneuck campus.

Vice-chancellor Professor Mandla Makhanya said that the renaming was part of a transformation process intended to instill dignity in all students.

The Theo van Wijk building will now be called the Winnie Madikizela-Mandela building.

Makhanya said that Madikizela-Mandela could have lived a comfortable life but chose instead to sacrifice for the country.

“Her association with our university is a very exciting one because she supported young people who were pursuing their education.”

He said that the AJH Van Der Walt building had been renamed after Professor Nkoana Radipere, a business academic who passed away in 2017.

“What is amazing to us is that the day he met his untimely death he decided to be at the university regardless of the fact that he was ill.”

And the library will now be called Anton Lembede: “At his young age of 33, he departed from this world. He had done excellent work. He started schooling at the age of 13.”

Makhanya said this would show previously excluded South Africans that they owned the university.