Dr Zweli Mkhize, the ANC National Treasurer, delivered the inaugural Dr Chota Motala Memorial Lecture which coincided with the launch of MANCOSA’s new state-of-the-art Graduate School of Business on 7 November 2014.
Prominent stakeholders in the education, political and business spheres were present at the GSB opening ceremony that was marked by officially naming the main auditorium the Dr Chota Motala Lecture Theatre. The memorial lecture in the same auditorium was in honour of the late human rights activist who fought for human rights and the empowerment of communities during the apartheid era.
The formal proceedings had included the keynote address by Dr Zweli Mkhize; an address by Professor Yusuf Karodia, the Principal of MANCOSA; messages from anti-apartheid struggle veterans, Mr Ahmed Kathrada and Mr Moosa Moolla; and Professor Shireen Motala, Dr Motala’s daughter.
The idea behind establishing the Mancosa [GSB] was the creation of a niche campus focusing exclusively on postgraduate education in business management with emphasis on the promotion of international collaborative higher education; international study tours; executive education and research.
Addressing guests, Professor Yusuf Karodia thanked his colleagues, family and friends for sharing MANCOSA’s 20 year journey with him. He announced that the newly launched Mzwakhe Ngomane Leadership Institute has the full support of MANCOSA. He was especially grateful that the event had drawn eminent persons such as Ahmed Kathrada and Moosa Moolla who he described as “living legends”.
Professor Motala thanked MANCOSA for creating the platform for robust debate by hosting the Memorial Lecture in tribute to her father. She was
“overwhelmed by the presence of guests who travelled far and wide to pay tribute to her late father who was a community activist dedicated to rooting out injustices in the community and dedicated to providing higher education opportunities to the underprivileged.”
Mr Kathrada’s message to guests was anecdotal as he related his experiences of the Rivonia Treason Trial, adding a touch of humour. Thanking MANCOSA for the invitation to speak he said he hoped the institution would continue to honour Dr Motala in years to come.
In his keynote address Dr Mkhize commended the late Dr Motala for his compassion, humility and steely determination which contributed towards the achievement of democracy in South Africa. He said Dr Motala and other activist from that time were true heroes.
“I take this opportunity to congratulate MANCOSA in honouring the memory of a true hero of our struggle whose commitment towards the community was selfless and whose sacrifice crafted a path to a truly non -racial and democratic South Africa. I was moved when a plaque was unveiled by his wife Mama Rabia Motala and believe this to be a fitting tribute to the people’s doctor,” he said.
Dr Mkhize urged those present to remember the virtues of compassion and selflessness that Dr Motala epitomised, when living their daily lives to achieve social inclusion and nation building.
He spoke of the importance of education and skills development in South Africa and the country’s investment towards educating young South Africans. Dr Mkhize said participation in higher education among students from disadvantaged communities increased from 150 000 in 1994 to 750 000 presently.
“The future of South Africa and the continent of Africa is education and skills; knowledge acquisition; knowledge production; intellectual development. Promotion of academic training and research is the only way to take SA into the future. The amount of knowledge to be processed and be turned into solutions mean that we need better quality education and access to ICT for all our children.”
“MANCOSA’s focus on entrepreneurship is a very important contribution in building our economy and our country. This will build the culture of entrepreneurship destroyed by extrication of trade in African communities. Entrepreneurs will find solutions to deal with unemployment,” added Dr Mkhize.