Submission to the University of Cape Town Task Team on the Naming of Buildings, Rooms, Spaces and Roads With Regard to the Possible Renaming of Smuts Hall
8 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2018
Date Written: June 4, 2016
Submission arguing for the retention of Jan Smuts named buildings on the campus of the University of Cape Town in the context of the student uprisings of 2015/2016 and associated calls for decolonization. The argument is based on the central values for which the idea of a university stands, including fostering a community of scholars in pursuit of learning and avoiding at all costs any form of censorship or suppression. It is a fact that Smuts continues to engage scholars at UCT and from around the world, and his legacy provokes popular interest. This sustained interest in him is testimony of his continued relevance to the world of ideas and learning today. The submission underlines his unselfish dedication to public service, including as Chancellor of UCT for more than a decade, but calls on UCT to embark about an inclusive process to bring context to the history of its campus such that engagement with the names of historical figures should inspire the pursuit of learning.
Keywords: Jan Smuts, Approach to History on University Campus
JEL Classification: N17
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation