Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle has paid tribute to the University of Fort Hare as the “the shrine of our origins, a crucible; a cradle and a bedrock of the development of Africa’s children.” Welcoming guests at the university’s centenary celebrations, the premier said it was at Fort Hare that the continental leadership was produced. They included Sir Seretse Khama of Botswana; Oliver Tambo of South Africa; His Excellency President RG Mugabe; who became the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe; Prime Minister of Lesotho Ntsu Mokhehle; Yusuf Lule of Uganda; that brave Zimbabwean Herbert Chipero; Tanzania’s President Julius Mwalimu Nyerere and Zambia’s President Kenneth Kaunda.
“It is here at Fort Hare where the seeds that germinated into our Long Walk to Freedom were born. It was here at Fort Hare; that many ideas about Freedom; Liberty; Equality and human rights were nurtured. As a province, we are eternally grateful to the founders of the University as well as its alumni for showing us the way,” he said.
“Fort Hare remains an intellectual giant in the minds of those seeking to explore the frontiers of knowledge. Fort Hare was a Mother and a Teacher to the continent. It taught many generations past and present about the real tasks of emancipation. History therefore cannot ignore the role that Fort Hare has played in shaping the minds of those that went on to lead many of our countries in Sub Saharan Africa; because history has to reflect the truth. Premier Masualle urged the university to start now to give practical effect to notions of non – racialism and non – sexism that are espoused in our country’s constitution.
“When victims of Racism cry; Fort Hare must be the first to receive their cries. When victims of Sexism manifested through Gender based violence, Fort Hare must open its arms and provide hope and healing.”