MANCOSA hosted the 4th Annual Dr Chota Motala Memorial Lecture in Durban on 17 November 2017.
The annual memorial lecture is held to commemorate the life and contributions of the late Dr Motala and to celebrate his courage and leadership as a political activist. The lecture also celebrates him as an intellectual and a caring medical professional, who selflessly served communities of activists and countless struggle heroes. Dr Motala also served as a mentor to many activists whose ideas and thinking were shaped by the political education they received during some of the most difficult years of the struggle for liberation. These values of courage, intellect and commitment to the development of the less privileged are virtues that MANCOSA aims to embody through its value system, its students and staff.
Guest speaker at the event, Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Mr Enver Surty, noted that 2017 marked the celebration of two important events. The first was to commemorate the life of the longest serving president of the African National Congress (ANC), Oliver Regnal Tambo, who was an incredible man, a teacher, a political activist, freedom fighter and the first black lawyer in South Africa. The second was to pay tribute to the “doctor’s pact” that was formed by exceptional individuals such as Dr Monty Naicker, Dr Yusuf Dadoo and Dr Xuma, who opened the door for what the ANC represents today. According to Surty, it was the contributions of these community activists and inspirational leaders, amongst others, that have resulted in the country’s progressive stand towards the commitment to a non-racial, non-sexist society.
Deputy Minister Surtey went on to discuss the numerous successes and challenges that basic education has experienced since the dawn of democracy in South Africa. He also elaborated on the exciting opportunities related to advances brought about by the 4th Industrial Revolution and discussed the plans that have been put into motion to digitise the curriculum in basic education. In concluding his address, Surty mentioned that there is a famous philosophical quote which aptly described the late Dr Motala;
“The world does not so much need men of great intellect as of noble character. It needs men in whom ability is controlled by steadfast principle.”