Dr Frene Ginwala remembers Wits
- Wits University
Struggle icon Dr Frene Ginwala recalls how Wits accelerated the global fight against apartheid.
Ginwala, a lawyer and academic, political leader and activist, journalist, and Speaker of South Africa’s first democratically elected Parliament spoke fondly about the contribution of Wits students to bring about equality. She shared her memories during the graduation ceremony on 21 April 2022 when the University awarded her an Honorary Doctorate of Laws, in absentia.
“I recall that students at this institution set up a fund many years ago to assist African students when the apartheid government tried to exclude them from medical school. This fund was called the African Students Medical Trust Fund. This initiative kicked off the global campaign for the isolation of the apartheid government and apartheid institution," said Ginwala via a pre-recorded speech broadcast at the ceremony.
Ginwala who turned 90-years-old just four days after the University bestowed its highest honour on her expressed her delight at the recognition adding that: “This recognition from one of the leading tertiary institutions in our country is gratifying and I am grateful for our acknowledgement of the contribution I have made to deepening our democracy and improving the lives of our people.”
Ginwala alluded to the challenges facing the higher education sector and the ongoing efforts to maintain high standards of education.