The Mafeje and UCT saga: unfinished business?

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Seminar Date
May 13, 2009
Archie Mafeje began his distinguished academic career at the University of Cape Town (UCT). After completing his Masters degree at UCT in 1963 and having co-authored a book with his supervisor and mentor, Monica Wilson, Mafeje went on to further his studies and registered for a PhD degree at Cambridge University in England. He was destined to return to UCT and pursue an academic career at this University upon completion of his studies. As it turned out, Mafeje never returned to UCT. This was despite attempts on his part to return to his alma mater. Later attempts by UCT to reconcile with Mafeje were not successful. This was in the form of the award of an honorary doctorate in 2003, as well as a formal apology in the same year in which the University Council offered its sincere regret and apologies. Mafeje treated these overtures with disdain, not even replying to the various communications. At the time of his death in March 2007, Mafeje was still angry and bitter with UCT.
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