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The first of more than 6 000 graduands, including three honorary doctorate recipients, crossed the virtual graduation stage today in the first of six ceremonies at Nelson Mandela University.

Graduation kicked off with graduates from the Education and Law faculties, with 135 and 347 students respectively. Of the total 6 060 graduands, 41 are doctoral degrees and 270 Master’s qualifications.

Due to the prevailing restrictions in place because of the coronavirus pandemic, the University continues with its tough, yet responsible decision to host the graduation ceremonies virtually as part of the ongoing health and safety measures.

During its autumn graduation session, the University will confer honorary doctorates on businesswoman Ms Gloria Serobe; author and speaker Ms Mmatshilo Motsei, and internationally renowned academic lawyer and expert Professor Martin Tsamenyi.

The Faculty of Law conferred the Doctor of Laws on Professor Tsamenyi, an internationally respected academic lawyer and expert this morning (Thursday, 22 April 2021).

At the core of his life’s work is the relationship between humankind and the sea, focussing on the need for carefully balancing environmental protection, economic prosperity, maritime security and healthy lives and food security, sustained by fisheries resources. This bodes well with the work of the University’s Ocean Sciences Campus and the strategic objectives thereof, in line with the institutional resolve towards social justice.

Ms Serobe is a well-respected businesswoman and a pioneer in the field of broad-based economic empowerment for women. As a resolute advocate of social equity, fairness, justice, and equality as well as for her fight against poverty, creating jobs, reducing unemployment and building a stronger economy, she will receive the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Faculty of Business and Economics Sciences ceremony on Friday, 30 April 2021.

Author, speaker, and integrative healer with a keen interest in integrating indigenous wisdom with modern innovations Ms Mmatshilo Motsei, receives the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Faculty of Health Sciences.  Her union of intuition, logic, spirit, science, and community-based leadership that encourages a compassionate engagement with people and the environment makes her a worth recipient of this award.

Graduation is an exciting time, where students’ hard work and resilience over the years – most recently compounded by the changes to learning and teaching brought on by the pandemic – pays off.

Among those graduating are Constandious Takura Munakandafa, who is a Lab Systems Analyst at Pathcare Pathology Laboratory in Cape Town, with a MPhil in Information Technology (IT) Governance in a record one year.

His research topic, Annotated Pathology Laboratory Workflows to Comply with the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA), involved both IT and Law, and required two supervisors, namely Professor Dalenca Pottas from the Faculty of Engineering, the Built Environment and Technology (EBET) and Professor Andre Mukheibir from the Faculty of Law.

Ross Dakin, 23, who is differently abled as a result of cerebral palsy, managed 14 distinctions while multitasking his studies, in-service training and community work.

He had just started his in-service training at a local PR company when the National Lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic was implemented. As was reality for many businesses, the lockdown meant that the company did not have much work coming in. However, his positive, can-do attitude helped him self-generate work, in order to complete his mandatory in-service training and successfully qualify to receive his diploma.

At the University’s George Campus, the graduation of Gabriella Berman with her MComm in Marketing is making history for the Faculty of Business and Economic Sciences, and the department of Marketing Management as the first student on the Campus to obtain Master’s in the Faculty. Gabriella is currently enrolled for a PhD in Marketing at the University.

Graduating students will be able to download their certificates from the dedicated graduation website, and can share stories and photographs of themselves safely celebrating their achievement at home. These can be shared on social media using #MandelaGrad.

The graduation ceremonies are streamed live on the University’s YouTube channel for all to celebrate with Mandela University and all its students.

Contact information
Ms Zandile Mbabela
Media Manager
Tel: 0415042777