Recently retired Constitutional Court Justice Edwin Cameron has been appointed the chancellor of Stellenbosch University with effect from January 2020, the university announced on Wednesday.
An electoral college comprising members of council, members of the executive committee of senate as well as the president and vice-president of the university’s convocation gathered on Wednesday morning to elect the institution’s 15th chancellor.
Cameron takes over from Johann Rupert, whose term ends on December 31.
According to university spokesperson Martin Viljoen, Cameron was elected “by an overwhelming majority”.
Cameron retired from the bench of the apex court in August, having served there since 2008 when he was appointed by then-acting president Kgalema Mothlante.
“I am honoured and humbled to have this chance to serve Stellenbosch University and its communities, and look forward to my new tasks,” said Cameron of his election.
He is an alumni of and holds an honorary doctorate from the university.
His 2015 honorary doctorate was an acknowledgement of his “unstinting professional and personal advocacy for the recognition of every person’s dignity, freedom and equality – foundational values he has helped entrenched in our legal system and beyond”.
The university’s council chairperson, George Steyn, welcomed the appointment, while Wim de Villiers, rector and vice-chancellor, said: “It is a privilege to have someone of the stature of Justice Edwin Cameron as chancellor of the university. He is a champion for human rights and boasts a distinguished legal career. I look forward to working with him.”
The chancellor is the titular head of the university, chairs graduation ceremonies and awards all degrees, diplomas and certificates in the name of the university. The chancellor’s term is five years and is eligible for re-election for one more five-year term.