On the tenth anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s death, the university named in his honour has spoken out against the gross human rights violations committed during the most recent conflict between Israel and Hamas.
“Nelson Mandela University is committed to the advancement of human rights, social justice, respect for diversity, and the rule of law. Like all democratic citizens the world over, we are appalled and devastated by the massive loss of life in the most recent manifestation of the Israel-Palestine conflict,” Chairperson of the Council of Nelson Mandela University, Ambassador Nozipho January-Bardill said in a statement.
“As a university we are aware of our responsibility in contributing to solve problems that affect the world and to educate to liberate human potential. In the current international context we reaffirm the values and stance of our namesake, Nelson Mandela, who stated on December 4, 1997 that we ‘know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians’,” she said.
“The humanitarian and political tragedy that has been unfolding in the Middle East over 75 years, has given rise to unspeakable levels of suffering, which will, amongst other crimes against humanity, remain a permanent scar on the face of the world.
“The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, in reference to the Israel-Palestine crisis, emphasised at the Security Council meeting on October 24, 2023 that respect for and compliance with international humanitarian law and UN resolutions, are of paramount importance. Our University supports this position, not only in times of conflict, but also in the aftermath of the war and the subsequent negotiations; including the international law provisions that relate to war crimes investigations,” she said.
January-Bardill called for a “permanent ‘pause’ in the conflict and for a commitment to upscaling humanitarian aid interventions”.
“We also hope that the global protests against the war will grow into an irreversible international obligation to a just peace in the Middle East, rooted in the promotion and protection of human rights for all,” January-Bardill said.