Almost five decades ago a man forfeited his master's degree because he refused to remove a quote by a listed communist, Jack Simons. But now, Professor Raymond Suttner walked onto the stage to receive his master's in law.
The University of Cape Town posted on it's website that political analyst, Professor Raymond Suttner's story of finally receiving his Master of Laws (LLM) degree has captivated South Africa.
Suttner said at first, he didn't believe there was any value in re-submitting his work on customary law. However, the professor is now please to have joined other law graduates.
The thesis he withdrew was titled: “Legal pluralism in South Africa”.
He withdrew it 49 years ago when his then supervisor, Professor Donald Molteno QC, asked him to remove any references to “listed” communist Professor Jack Simons.
According to the UCT report, Simons could not, at the time, be quoted, because of the laws at the time.
Suttner has since been celebrated on social media, with many expressing their happiness that he finally graduated.
Writer, Carol Paton, posted photos online, congratulating Suttner on this achievement.
She captioned it: "Amandla! Raymond Suttner celebrates his MA in law from UCT 49 years after he withdrew it for refusing not to quote listed communist Jack Simons."
Congratulatory messages poured in for the academic:
@BhekiMakhubu commented: "This is what Martin Luther King called a “Dangerous Unselfishness”. The question you confronted, to extend his analogy, was not what will happen to you if you withdraw, but what will happen to truth and liberation if you don’t. Congratulations!"
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