UPDATE: Boesak and Sooliman receive honorary doctorates from UWC

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The University of the Western Cape (UWC) has awarded honorary doctorates to struggle cleric Dr Allan Boesak and humanitarian Dr Imtiaz Sooliman. The event was held at the institution’s main hall.

Honoured for their services to humanity, their contribution to academic excellence, Boesak and Gift of the Givers founder Sooliman were given the accolade by the university.

Thabo Makgoba Archbishop of Cape Town and UWC Chancellor says, “I’m just so happy, I feel inspired when I look at the names of the people that are going to get the awards. I know we are facing many challenges in South Africa but when you look at them you just say yeah yeah, we’ve got wonderful human beings that do extraordinary things for the country.”

UWC Rector Prof Tyrone Pretorius says, “This year we wanted to put the spotlight firmly on the reciprocates. We wanted to get up close and personal and chat to them and have interviews with them and have a conversation.”

Dr Boesak is a notable theologian and author of a number of books. He was also at the forefront of the liberation struggle during the 1980s and was incarcerated several times for his fight against apartheid.  Boesak also recieved 14 honorary doctorates from universities across the globe.

He says it’s a huge honour being recognised by UWC.

“This is where we stood in the struggle I was here connected to this university for over 10 years as Chaplin with the students that was the 70’s – 80’s. I was privileged to be with these students just about everyday and the students here were the front troupes against the assault upon apartheid. I think back now and I’m still amazed at the courage that those young people displayed in the face at the time here.”

Sooliman, a medical doctor and founder of Gift of the Givers, says none of this would have been possible if it weren’t for the efforts and support of others.

“To me, it’s recognition collectively of what the organisation has achieved. The recognitions are very special because it’s about service, about human compassion, about giving people hope, about getting them out of darkness into light.”

UWC has a proud history of activism and hopes to inspire future generations.


EDITORIAL NOTE: Earlier we reported that Boesak and Sooliman also received gold medals. They received honorary doctorates from the university but not gold medals as well.