Tutu, Dugard, Breytenbach, Mamdani and over 200 South African academics support call for Johannesburg university to end agreement with Israeli institution

24 September 2010

Within the past week, more than 200 of South Africa’s leading academics and writers have publicly supported a call for the University of Johannesburg (UJ) to terminate its relationship with Israel’s Ben-Gurion University (BGU). A nationwide academic petition has been endorsed by Professors Kader Asmal, Allan Boesak, Breyten Breytenbach, John Dugard, Antjie Krog, Mahmood Mamdani and Barney Pityana.

On the grounds of BGU’s direct and indirect support for the Israeli military, the academics note: “It is clear to us that any connection with an institution so heavily vested in the Israeli occupation would amount to collaboration with an occupation that denigrates the values and principles that form the basis of any vibrant democracy.”

Respected and leading voices of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa, such as Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and former Minister Ronnie Kasrils, have also supported the petition.

On Wednesday the 29th of September, at its Soweto campus, the University of Johannesburg's Senate will meet to take a decision on ending its relationship with BGU.