Message from the Rector – Youth Day

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June 15, 2016 by Student 24/7 Blog

Dear Students

As 16 June approaches and we prepare to celebrate Youth Day, we look back at 40 years since the harrowing events that took place in Soweto in 1976. Even today we can say with great certainty that our country did not survive this injustice unscathed.  Even though most of our students and some of our staff members had not been born at that time, the sacrifices of the youth in 1976 have helped shape the South Africa which we live in to a great extent.

Martin Luther King said:  “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  It remains our choice to take up the heavy baggage of the past and add new hate onto it, or to free ourselves of it and allow ourselves a new future – always mindful of what we can learn from the past.  We need to take these lessons with us on our life journey ahead.  On Youth Day we especially need to think about how we will stand up for the good and fight for what is right: fight for the eradication of unemployment, against corruption, for justice and for better service delivery.

The responsibility, however, lies in our own hands.  We cannot insist on change and wait for our government or any other entity that we feel owes it to us.  Unless each and every one of us proactively becomes part of the solution, we cannot expect any change to take place.

As we celebrate Youth Day, let us work together with all our being to build a better South Africa for all.  May we, more and more each day, become a unitary institution with a commitment to social justice.

As the exams are well underway and the semester is swiftly moving to an end, I would like to wish each and every student a restful winter recess.

Prof. Linda du Plessis
Campus Rector (acting)


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