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Families feel honoured at renaming of three Unisa buildings

Unisa will be naming one of its building after icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Unisa will be naming one of its building after icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
Image: Veli Nhlapo

It was a day filled with celebrations and singing as three Unisa buildings were renamed.

In November 2018 the Unisa council approved the renaming of three buildings on its Muckleneuk campus. The Theo van Wyk building is now known as Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, AJH van der Walt as Professor Nkoana Simon Radipere and the Samuel Pay building as Anton Lembede.

Relatives of the three icons said it was such an honour for them as families to have some of the buildings named after their family members.

Radipere's younger brother Innocent described his brother as a selfless and dedicated person who died on duty. 

"We feel honoured by renaming one of the buildings after him," he said. 

Speaking on behalf of the Lembede family, Sibonelo said Lembede started schooling at the age of 13 and by the age of 33 he had achieved everything he wanted in life. 

"He was respectful and dedicated to his work. His father was a farmer and he had to stop schooling and go to work in order to get money to buy books," Sibonelo said. 

Princess Zenani Dlamini-Mandela said her mother was finally smiling from heaven.

"I am sure she is even teasing my father [Nelson Mandela] saying, Madiba you see you are not the only one who is recognised," she said.

Unisa's chairperson of council Sakhi Simelane urged the institution to lead by the values that these leaders exhibited throughout their lives. 

"Today we are saying diversity matters. Unisa made a radical statement about its identity and its DNA. It has committed itself to becoming a truly African university.

For the university, the transformation imperative is not merely aspirational but is a reality that council has embraced, owned and championed with increased vigour since its transformation workshop in 2017," Simelane said. 

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