End corruption‚ urges activist Kumi Naidoo at UKZN graduation
Taschica Pillay | 2017-04-03 13:27:06.0
Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace International.
Image by: MAXIM SHEMETOV
South African human rights activist Kumi Naidoo‚ who was given a honorary doctorate in social science by the University of KwaZulu-Natal on Monday‚ used his acceptance speech to urge South African leaders to end corruption.
The former head of Greenpeace International was recognised for his outstanding contribution to the South African struggle for democracy‚ the international fight against climate change and the struggle against poverty and injustice.
On receiving the award‚ Naidoo said he was extremely nervous and emotional but honoured.
“My higher education started at this university. But this is the first time that I am actually receiving the degree. In the old days we said we are attending a racially segregated university and in protest many of us boycotted our graduation.
“I am deeply honoured that a university whose management in the past colluded with security forces to get me and others arrested has finally invited me to receive this award.”
He said the achievement was not a personal one.
“Anything I achieved in my life has been as a result of the guidance and support from people around me. I would like to dedicate this to all who were part of my liberation struggle.” He called on leaders to not be corrupt.
“We are in a moment in history in our country where we now have to say to our leaders what we are asking of you is much less than what we asked of others who gave their blood and lives.
“We asking you not to give your life or go to prison for 27 years‚ but simply saying to our leaders don’t be corrupt and to act in the interests of ordinary people.
– TMG Digital/The Times