n South African Journal of Higher Education - Academic freedom and racial injustice : South Africa's former 'open universities'

Volume 24, Issue 6
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



The article critically re-interrogates three high profile cases of white racism at South Africa's former 'open universities' to highlight the way in which existing debates around academic freedom fail to come to terms with questions of racial injustice after apartheid. The cases covered are the Makgoba affair at Wits, the Mamdani affair at the University of Cape Town, and the Shell affair at Rhodes. It is argued that the genuine transformation of higher education requires recognizing and addressing the dynamics of systemic white racism.

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