Kader Asmal slams plagiarism

Prof Kader Asmal at a press conference at  SA Wine Council on Dorp Rd in Stellenbosch.  November 26, 2007
Photo by Michael Walker
Prof Kader Asmal at a press conference at SA Wine Council on Dorp Rd in Stellenbosch. November 26, 2007 Photo by Michael Walker

FORMER education minister Kader Asmal has called on university students to desist from cheating.

He warned that a plagiarist was a "cheat" and the practice had huge consequences for the culprit's future.

Asmal was speaking at a spring graduation ceremony at the Durban University of Technology yesterday.

About 800 students received qualifications in six faculties.

Asmal said once started the practice of cheating did not stop at the college. "Dishonour has a tendency to repeat itself in later life. Why else would adults copy whole theories for a book from another or invent stories about a war?"

Asmal also wondered why supervisors and students would steal somebody's work for their theses.

He said integrity was not limited to teaching and learning in the university and appealed for moral principles to pervade all aspects of our lives.

Referring to violent student protests, Asmal said while students had a right to protest against poor conditions, they did not have a right to be violent.

"Distress or frustration does not give you the right to be violent and destructive.

"There must be respect for public property and zero tolerance for anyone who destroys such property or interferes with learning, ostensibly for some high purpose of political protest," he said.

He hit out at corruption in public institutions.

"Too often one hears of public property being abused and used for private ends. It is not unknown for millions to be diverted from research and other collegiate activities into private pockets at universities and other institutions of learning."

Asmal also called for university's to be "a citadel of virtue in its total opposition to racism, ethnicity and tribalism".

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