Honorary doctorate for Professor Lungisile Ntsebeza

Professor Lungisile Ntsebeza of the University of Cape Town was awarded an honorary doctorate during the Dies Natalis of Leiden University on 7 February in the Pieterskerk. Professor Ntsebeza is the holder of the AC Jordan Chair in African Studies and the holder of the National Research Foundation (NRF) Chair in Land Reform and Democracy in South Africa. Honorary promotor was Jan-Bart Gewald, Professor of African History at Leiden University and Director of the ASCL. In his laudatio Professor Gewald highlighted Ntsebeza’s personal history. During the apartheid, Ntsebeza spent over five years in prison because of his battle against the repressive regime. After the apartheid, 'you stayed true to your calling as a teacher, scientist and liberator of people, regardless of their race or beliefs', Professor Gewald said.

Special guest in the Pieterskerk was South African Professor John Dugard, Emeritus Professor of Public International Law at Leiden University. In 1977, Dugard defended Ntsebeza when he and others were arrested for studying ‘inflammatory literature’.

In his closing speech for the Dies Natalis, Carel Stolker, Rector Magnificus of Leiden University, reflected on the study of Africa, as conducted not only by the African Studies Centre Leiden, but also by the University’s seven faculties, with partners on the African continent and in Europe, and within the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus alliance. He highlighted the succesful LDE-minors 'Frugal Innovation' and 'African Dynamics', and the benefits of this innovative type of interdisciplinary collaboration between the three universities, both for students and scholars.

Watch the ceremony of the conferral of the honorary doctorate on  Lungisile Ntsebeza.
Read the laudatio for Lungisile Ntsebeza by Jan-Bart Gewald.
Read the acceptance speech by Lungisile Ntsebeza.
Read the closing speech by Carel Stolker.
Read the full report of the Dies Natalis on the website of Leiden University.