Former President of South Africa and former Chancellor of the University of Venda, Hon Kgalema Motlanthe was awarded an honorary doctoral degree in Administration by the University of Venda during the Spring Graduation that took place on Thursday, 05 October 2023 at the University Auditorium.
Dr Kgalema Motlanthe was honoured for his distinguished, significant, and outstanding leadership contributions to society, both in South Africa and internationally.
In his acceptance speech, Dr Motlanthe expressed his deepest appreciation, honour and privilege to be part of this graduation ceremony and for the conferment of an honorary degree in the Faculty of Management, Commerce and Law.

Dr Motlanthe expressed that acceptance of this honorary degree also comes with a huge responsibility. The conferring of a degree is not the end but the beginning.
He maintained that institutions of higher learning bear the responsibility to produce graduates with the necessary will to change current social realities and further expand the aptitude of the mind. “This is the type of pedagogy that enables people to reimagine a new world, as many of the alumni of the University of Venda have and do’’.
As he continued with his speech he said “With hindsight, we know that tertiary education afforded many visionaries the means to understand the human condition as it manifested itself in the South African historical process. Dr Motlanthe further argued that tertiary education serves as a launching pad for personal intellectual and political epiphany. In other words, he said “Tertiary education sets students off on a journey for personal discovery, and what they discover about themselves creates a scaffold for how they wish to mould the world in which they exist.”

Dr Motlanthe stated that “University is not a world apart, but an essential member of the living organism of education. Hence, if we drop this semi-utilitarian argument and turn to examine what a university really is and what it should do, no man who has the interest of people at heart can oppose university education.”
He told attendees of the graduation ceremony that in the concrete life of students across the board, education has the potential to be a liberating force that equips one with the intellectual apparatus to transform human consciousness qualitatively from the impulse to dominate, to the ideal of common humanity capacious enough to embrace the marginalised and vulnerable in society.
In addition, he said “Young graduates, you are the leaders of today as it is your generation that must take the torch forward and apply what you have absorbed in your studies and learnt in the university life, to reconcile the great potential with the great foe, of this future tech that has arrived today”.
Dr Motlanthe concluded his acceptance speech by appreciating his wife Mrs Gugu Motlanthe who is an inspiration and driver of all that he does.
Issued by:
Department of Marketing, Branding and Communication
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525 / 8710
Date: 08 October 2023

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