Students & faculty at the University of Johannesburg will NOT hand over an honorary degree to a war criminal
June 20, 2013
Obama will make his first official visit to South Africa, with his wife Michelle, this month.
The university plans to confer the honor on Obama for his achievements as the first black president of the US before he addresses students at its Soweto campus on Saturday next week.
But the UJ Students’ Representative Council - in coalition with some staff members, student organization Sasco, the Muslim Student Association and the Palestinian Solidarity Forum - has vowed to stage a boycott if the university goes through with the ceremony.
The Muslim Lawyers’ Association last week called for the arrest and prosecution of the US president when he arrives in this country, describing Obama as a “war criminal”.
SRC president Levy Masete yesterday said UJ had failed to consult students about its decision to honor Obama. “Obama’s decisions have caused human rights violations in the Middle East and Africa. He supported Nato while killing innocent people in Libya. The withdrawal of all US troops [from] Iraq and Afghanistan, [and the] closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay never materialised,” Masete said.
Obama has committed “a lot blunders in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”, he said.
"Obama is guilty of human rights violations. He signed what is called [the] US-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012, which was to strengthen Israel’s military to fight against Palestine. So now, how [do] we honour someone [who] is perpetuating war?" Masete asked.
"The university must not support an imperialist Obama."
A senior staff member said students had been asked to vacate residences during Obama’s visit. “There is no one from management who sees fit to engage the staff and students about honoring Obama,” the staff member said.
It takes discipline & courage to stand consistently against human rights injustice & acts of international terror. It’s always heart breaking to see some stand against it when it’s convenient for their political team and stay silent otherwise.