Three historical Unisa Muckleneuk Campus buildings in Pretoria will be renamed next week, the university announced on Wednesday.
Spokesperson Tommy Huma said the university had embarked on an exciting initiative of naming and renaming new and existing facilities to capture the spirit of renewal and transformation.
“The naming and renaming process commenced in June 2018 when calls to submit proposed names were extended to university stakeholders including employees, students and alumni.”
He said the response was extremely positive, and a large number of names were suggested, reports Pretoria East Rekord.
“In November 2018, the Unisa Council approved the renaming of the following three buildings at the Muckleneuk Campus.
“The Theo van Wijk Building will be named after Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the AJH Van der Walt Building after Professor Nkoana Simon Radipere and the Samuel Pauw Building after Anton Lembede.”
He said the individuals being honoured by the renaming had contributed greatly to the shaping of the university and society.
Madikizela-Mandela, known as the Mother of the Nation, played a significant role in the struggle for a democratic South Africa.
As a champion of youth empowerment, she has a long and intimate association with Unisa, and she spoke at the institution on many occasions. Working with the Mandela Legacy Foundation, the university wanted to ensure that her contribution was institutionalised to reflect this relationship.
The renaming of the Theo van Wijk Building to the Winnie Madikizela Mandela Building coincides with the 63rd anniversary of National Women’s Month where over 20,000 South African women of all races marched on the Union Buildings protesting the proposed amendments to the Urban Areas Act of 1950, commonly referred to as the “pass laws”.
Professor Simon Radipere
Prof Nkoana Simon Radipere was a diligent academic committed to improving the lives of the people through education. He tragically passed away at the entrance to AJH van der Walt building, which housed his office and the department he headed, in 2017.
He is remembered by both the university and broader academia, as a seasoned scholar whose research focused on addressing the socio-political issues in South Africa.
Lembede was a student at Unisa and completed his master’s degree in the philosophy department (which is now known as the department of philosophy, practical, and systematic theology). Having achieved major societal change during a relatively short life, Anton Lembede embodied the spirit of youthful passion and optimism that is also a key characteristic of Unisa.
In July, the university’s Durban Regional Hub building was named after the late Simiso Nkwanyana, a student leader at the university who went on to leave a lasting legacy in KZN and national politics.