PRESS RELEASE: Rhodes Vice-Chancellor Adds Weight to Ending UJ-Israel link

Issued By Dasantha Pillay on Behalf of the UJ – Petition Coordination Committee

Disseminated By Media Review Network

Today, amidst growing international attention, the Vice-Chancellor of Rhodes University, Professor Saleem Badat, became signatory to the nationwide academic petition supported by more than 200 of South Africa’s most prominent academics, including Breyten Breytenbach, Antjie Krog and John Dugard (www.ujpetition.com).

Badat is the third Vice-Chancellor who has signed the petition, joining the VC of UNISA, Professor Barney Pityana, and the former Vice Chancellor of Durban University Technology, Prof Dan Ncayiyana, in calling for the termination of an agreement between Ben-Gurion University and the University of Johannesburg (on the grounds of BGU’s direct and indirect support for the Israeli military and occupation). Also announced this morning are two of the most recent significant signatories, Professor of Economics, Sampie Terblanche and Professor Rashida Manjoo, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women.

In response to increasing pressure from the academic community and an open letter of support by Desmond Tutu (http://www.timeslive.co.za/world/article675369.ece/Israeli-ties–a-chance-to-do-the-right-thing), it was reported in the Israeli press that BGU’s leadership have come out as “deeply disturbed” by recent developments in Johannesburg. 

Tomorrow, 29 September 2010, UJ’s Senate will meet at its Soweto campus, where one of the most pressing issues to be decided will be whether to terminate its partnership agreement with Israel’s Ben-Gurion University (BGU.

The outcome of UJ Senate’s decision will be announced tomorrow afternoon and representatives can be contacted on the day to give interviews and comment on the decision.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Professor Farid Esack: 083 459 9989; fesack@uj.ac.za

Natasha Vally:  082 660 0723; natasha.vally@gmail.com

Muhammed Desai: 084 211 9988; mdesai.work@gmail.com

www.ujpetition.com

MRN

Author: MRN Network

The aspiration of the Media Review Network is to dispel the myths and stereotypes about Islam and Muslims and to foster bridges of understanding among the diverse people of our country. The Media Review Network believes that Muslim perspectives on issues impacting on South Africans are a prerequisite to a better appreciation of Islam.