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UKZN – ISRAELI AMBASSADOR

Dear Brothers and Sisters

Academics and students at UKZN as well as solidarity activists had protested that the deputy Israeli Ambassador was due to speak at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal and the lecture was cancelled, the university giving very curious reasons about the concerns of safety and security and potential violence on campus rather than the principal of supporting the BDS campaign against Israel.

If you look at the highlighted portion below UKZN went on to apologise for this. We know the university came under tremendous pressure from Israeli lobby groups for the cancellation of the Deputy Israeli Ambassador’s lecture.
We appeal to you to write to the Vice Chancellor – Professor Mokoba and copy it to Mac Mia protesting at its apology and urging the university to join the growing worldwide academic boycott of the apartheid Israeli state.

We urge you to write to the university especially if you are a student or ex graduate of the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal or if you are a member of a Professional Muslim Bodies, Lawyers Associations, Medical Associations, Engineers, Architects etc. are urged to get their societies of organizations and in their personal capacity to write to the university of Kwa-Zulu Natal expressing disappointment that the university is not following the world wide example of implementing the BDS campaign against Israel.

Similar sanctions and boycotts against apartheid South Africa worked for South Africans and brought the Apartheid regime to the negotiation table and similarly isolation of Israel will force it to the negotiating table toward a just settlement for Palestinians.

Vice Chancellor : UKZN – Professor Malegapuru William Makgoba
PA / Secretary Ms Jabu Msomi
Contact Number +27 (0) 31 260 2228
Fax Number +27 (0) 31 262 2192
Email msomij@ukzn.ac.za / makgoba@ukzn.ac.za /
Mr. MAC Mia macmia@saol.com

Please see article below – DA stance on Palestine
A senior figure in South Africa’s main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance(DA), has publicly stated that she considers it unfair to refer to Israel as a state practicing Apartheid. Lindiwe Mazibuko, parliamentary leader of the party that also governs the Western Cape province, reportedly made the comments at a gathering of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies’ Cape committee in April.

A report on the event, published in the SA Jewish Report, quotes Mazibuko as saying, “I don’t think it’s a fair analogy to make.”

Mazibuko used the event to discuss local challenges, corruption, Middle East peace and the party’s plans for the next national elections.

Commenting on the official opposition’s stance on Palestinian-Israeli relations, she said the DA concurred fully with official South African government policy on the conflict. “I can’t say our policy is a radical departure from (that of) the ANC. We recognise a two-state solution with a single capital that’s shared, in the form of Jerusalem.” However, Mazibuko-who is often touted to become the DA’s first black leader, made it clear that she believed Palestinians had to bear a greater responsibility for the ongoing violence.

“A couple of atrocities have been committed – many more on the Palestinian side – but wrongs have been done,” she added, stressing that “Palestinian disadvantage” vis-a-vis Israel had to be addressed alongside “Palestinian responsibility” for violence. “Israel needs to be held accountable for excessively violent and military responses, likewise the Palestinians terrorising Israelis,” she said.

Explaining why she found the Apartheid analogy problematic, Mazibuko suggested that in contrast to South Africa, there was a “much more equal distribution of suffering” in the Middle East. Additionally, the parliamentary leader told the audience that she believed the Apartheid regime in South Africa had committed “far more atrocities” than what have been documented in Israel.

Track Record

Mazibuko’s published comments appear to be largely representative of official DA policy on the Middle East. Although available documentation on the party’s foreign policy deals only briefly with the Middle East, several high ranking party members have over the years also adopted similar stances on the conflict.

A 2009 DA policy paper entitled, ‘GLOBAL OPPORTUNITY: The Democratic Alliance’s proposal for a rational, rules- based and ethical foreign policy’
advocates working with the leading nations of the world to help address the conflict in the Middle East, by lending South African support to a two state solution, “that will see Israel and Palestine living together in peace, with mutual respect for each state’s right to exist in security.” However, the party has repeatedly censured the ANC government for what it suggests is an “ideological” approach to international relations. The same document states:
“It is clear that strong loyalty to rulers and regimes which supported the ANC in its struggle against apartheid and a desire to tilt the world-order in a direction more congenial to the developing world has caused the untethering of our foreign policy and practices in a direction diametrically opposite to the one chartered by Nelson Mandela.”

Amongst the supportive parties implicit in this reference is the PLO, the umbrella body for Palestinian national aspirations, that had warm relations with the ANC during the years of the anti-Apartheid struggle. In a 2000 parliamentary debate on Ariel Sharon’s controversial visit to Masjid al Aqsa, wherein the ANC adopted a motion denouncing Israeli military action and calling Sharon’s move provocative, then leader of the DA, Tony Leon, responded by alleging that tha ANC was showing its “ugly face” in being prepared to set “community against community, misuse religion and even import foreign conflicts for domestic political gain.” Leon denounced South Africa for adopting a foreign policy in the Middle East that was “anti-colonial, anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian.”

Speaking to Cii in 2011, DA Shadow Minister for International Relations Kenneth Mubu brushed aside a question about the United States consistent use of its veto power at the United Nations to counter anti-Israel resolutions.
“You know,” he responded, “the Israel matter is a very complex one. That’s maybe a discussion for another day,” . Mubu however stressed that any settlement of the conflict should come through the auspices of the UN. He also said the DA favoured the inclusion of all factions representing the Palestinians, including Hamas, at peace negotiations.

Prior to previous national and provincial elections, Palestinian solidarity activists have alleged that voting for the DA was tantamount to voting for Israel. Again, the ANC in the Western Cape recently declared its intention to challenge the perceivedly close relationship between the DA-led provincial government and the State of Israel. The DA has not officially responded to the campaign. But in the wake of Mazibuko’s statements on the conflict and a recently scheduled official visit by the Western Cape Minister of Agriculture to Israel, the official opposition may find the allegation much harder to defend.

COUNCIL COMMUNIQUÉ
Wednesday 13 June 2012
An Open Letter from the Council of the University of KwaZulu-Natal

The Council of the University of KwaZulu-Natal appointed an independent senior counsel to consider the allegations made by a former employee of the University concerning Vice-Chancellor Professor Malegapuru Makgoba’s role in Dr Tahir Pillay’s doctoral thesis. Dr Tahir Pillay was the former Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Health Sciences at UKZN.
Advocate Jean Marais SC – an experienced, independent legal counsel who practices from the Durban Bar – was appointed by the Council to provide an opinion to Council.
At a meeting held on Monday 11 June 2012 Council received and considered the opinion and decided it was not necessary to take any action against Professor Makgoba.

The University is committed to good corporate governance and this permeates the entire institution. Furthermore, UKZN has clear processes, policies and procedures to investigate grievances and complaints supported by factual evidence. These include a whistleblowers hotline and the University Ombud, Justice Pius Langa.
Accountability is central to the core functioning of UKZN and underpins our values of integrity and honesty. The University has an impeccable track record in the management of donor funding. UKZN’s audited financial reports state clearly that all donor funds are fully accounted for in terms of their management and disbursement. The University views the unfounded allegations in The New Age newspaper about its donor funding and other spurious allegations in a very serious light and reserves its rights to pursue legal action in this regard.

Council further regrets the recent decision – which it did not support – to cancel a public lecture on the UKZN campus by Israel’s deputy Ambassador to South Africa. Council reiterates its commitment to academic freedom and freedom of expression. These are pillars of our democracy which also underpin UKZN’s vision and mission.Council states categorically that the University is committed to a non-racial and democratic society in which debate, dialogue and divergent viewpoints are encouraged.

As one of the leading institutions of higher learning on the African continent, the University will continue to strive for excellence as a repository of knowledge production and innovation. As stated in our Transformation Charter, governance, leadership and management will be practiced in a manner that encourages and facilitates positive and continuous institutional transformation. The University leadership and management will be responsible and directly accountable for creating an environment that cherishes diversity and equity, and which is conducive to respect, tolerance and understanding.
The Council acknowledges the support and contributions of staff and its partners. It salutes UKZN academics who continue to make a difference to the lives of communities and transform the world through innovative, relevant and pioneering research. The Council also applauds the dedication and professionalism of administrative staff as well as acknowledging our strategic partners and donors who embrace our goals and believe in the University’s mission and vision.
During the past few weeks we have endured the vicissitudes of criticism and opinion. This has been a challenge and Council sincerely thanks all UKZN stakeholders for their support, understanding and more importantly, their unwavering belief in the mission and vision of the University.
We are confident that Professor Malegapuru Makgoba will continue to lead the University of KwaZulu-Natal to strive for excellence with integrity and accountability.

Mac Mia and Phumla Mnganga
Chair and Vice-Chair of Council
University of KwaZulu-Natal

SAMNET

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