Academic, Journalist and Author Raymond Suttner is expected to graduate with a master’s degree…

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Academic, Journalist and Author Raymond Suttner is expected to graduate with a master’s degree…

Academic, Journalist and Author Raymond Suttner is expected to graduate with a master’s degree in law at the University of Cape Town in December this year, 49 years after his thesis was declined due to apartheid laws. The thesis he wrote in 1969 has been gathering dust because according to strict academic rules at the time, he was not allowed to quote a listed communist Jack Simons. Suttner says as a 23-year-old law student at the time, he took a principled decision not to submit the thesis which is more than 130 pages and examines African Customary Law. He says, “There are a lot of other similar cases…. of people who lost their degrees because of apartheid laws and I think that needs to be remembered, but in fact we need to remember the man who I wanted to quote is Jack Simons and his work needs to be studied..” . UCT has since invited him to re-submit his previously banned thesis. His wife and fellow academic, Associate Professor Nomboniso Gasa says it’s good that UCT has given up on apartheid policies. She says, “Raymond’s sacrifice ends up with a positive story like this and I think a lot of people say yeah, good work is always rewarded, but I think the most important thing about this is that you must not make decisions hoping that you will be rewarded later. You must actually make decisions on principle because you believe in that”.

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