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First round of KAS Media Africa Scholars graduated at Wits University

The Wits Great Hall was the scene of great pomp and ceremony this week as graduands from the Faculty of Humanities donned academic robes and proudly strode across the stage to be capped by the Vice Chancellor, officially completing their academic journeys.

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Among the graduates receiving their Bachelor of Arts with Honours degrees was Ugandan journalist Raymond Mpubani who was one of three KAS Media Africa scholars who completed post-graduate degrees in the Journalism Department of the University of the Witwatersrand last year.

Before taking up his studies at Wits in Johannesburg Raymond was the youngest online editor working for the Monitor Group, the second largest media house in Uganda. His academic diligence was further rewarded when he was offered a second scholarship by the Department to study towards his Masters degree in 2015.

Wits Vice-Chancellor Professor Adam Habib congratulated the graduates for becoming part of an elite group of alumni from a university internationally renowned for its intellectual leadership, boasting that Wits has produced more CEOs than any university in Africa, and its alumni are also successful politicians, inspiring activists and formidable intellectuals.

During the ceremony an honorary doctoral degree was also conferred on veteran journalist, editor and freedom of expression campaigner, Raymond Louw, in recognition of his 70 years of unstinting service to journalism. Louw was editor of the Rand Daily Mail at the time of the 1976 Soweto uprising when the newspaper became known for its pioneering investigative journalism on apartheid. His campaigning against censorship during the apartheid era, the transitional period as well as in the post-1994 new order is widely recognised – he helped found and chaired the Campaign for Open Media from 1985 -1994, he was an integral part of the transformation of the state controlled broadcaster into a public broadcaster and was a founder member of the SA National editors Forum, still leading its Media Freedom Committee.

In his speech, Louw warned against growing complacent in the face of ongoing threats to our constitutional freedoms. Although in his late 80s his continued spirit of activism to defend against restrictions on the media has earned him a reputation as one of the preeminent freedom of expression fighters in South Africa and the world – and now the rightly-deserved title of Doctor.

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Christoph Plate

Christoph Plate bild

Director Media Programme Southeast Europe +359 2 942-4971 +359 2 94249-79


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