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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Mafeje Affair: the University of Cape Town and apartheid
Author:Hendricks, FredISNI
Periodical:African Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
educational management
academic freedom
About person:Archibald Monwabisi Mafeje (1937-2007)ISNI
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/00020180802505061
Abstract:South Africa's apartheid government interfered and intervened directly in the internal functioning of universities and institutionalized racism was decreed in the higher education sector by the Extension of University Education Act of 1959, which provided for the establishment of separate university colleges for blacks. This paper tries to understand the current university stance in a broader historical perspective on the questions of academic freedom and institutional autonomy by providing a detailed examination of the events of 1968, which have come to be known as the Mafeje Affair. The paper provides some context to the limits of the liberal critique of apartheid by showing just how close some of the liberal universities were to the apartheid regime, both in their thinking about race and in their policies and practices. In particular, the paper provides a narrative account of the decisionmaking processes at the University of Cape Town (UCT) especially around the appointment, in 1968, of Archie Mafeje to the position of senior lecturer in the Department of Social Anthropology, and the Council's subsequent decision, following a threat from the Minister of Education, to rescind the offer of appointment merely a month later. In sum, the paper examines the intersection between compulsion and collusion involving the apartheid State and UCT and reveals the role that UCT played in ensuring racial exclusion beneath the veneer of opposition to apartheid. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]