Sep 24, 2010

#BDS: New pressure on UJ to sever Israel ties

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Unisa vice-chancellor Barney Pityana and author Breyten Breytenbach have added their voices to calls for the University of Johannesburg to sever academic ties with Israel's Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

The cooperation between the two universities dates from the 1980s, when the local partner was called Rand Afrikaans University. The agreement now under fire involves scientific interaction and was signed in August last year, renewing a controversial apartheid-era collaboration, its critics say.

On Wednesday next week UJ's senate will hear recommendations on the future of the university's ties with Ben-Gurion.

Mail & Guardian reported in May that the senate had debated the matter then and had asked a senate subcommittee headed by deputy vice-chancellor Adam Habib to make recommendations within three months.

"We have concluded our deliberations and arrived at recommendations," Habib told the
M&G. "It has taken a long time because the matter is highly contested. And I can’t say what our senate will decide."

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