Ex political detainee, Professor Raymond Suttner, will graduate with a Master of Laws (LLM) from the University of Cape Town (UCT) in December – very nearly 50 years after he submitted it.
His LLM thesis on legal pluralism in South Africa was declined in 1969 in light of the fact that it cited Jack Simons, who was classified as a known communist.
At the point when Suttner's superior advised him to remove the statements preceding examination, he rejected and rather pulled back the exposition.
He explained that he was a liberal at the time and his beliefs prevented him from crediting from someone else’s ideas without acknowledging them.
He therefore opted to withdraw the thesis instead.
He trusts that the submission and acceptance of his thesis now will give Simons the acknowledgment he merits.
Suttner is adamant that he might not have composed a word without Simons' help, who was additionally a tutor to the developing student.
It was through the mediation of educator of public law at UCT, Professor Dee Smythe, that Suttner's proposition was resubmitted for examination.
Suttner initially struggled to find the original work but eventually found the hard copy after a 5 month search.
Smythe told News 24 that, "We were all very clear that the dissertation must stand on its own merits, meeting the criteria for the degree. Prof Hugh Corder (acting dean of law) and I read it and were both very impressed with the breadth and rigour of the work. We felt that it would certainly stand up to the scrutiny of examination. In fact, it has remarkable contemporary resonance."
Thami Nkwanyane, a spokesperson for the University, added that the academic institution places huge emphasis on rectifying past injustices.
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