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Racism Committee Members announced by SA Minister of Education

The South African Minister of Education, Mrs. Naledi Pandor, announced yesterday the establishment of a Ministerial Committee on “Progress towards Transformation and Social Cohesion and the Elimination of Discrimination in Public Higher Education Institutions”. The primary purpose of the committee will be to investigate the nature and extent of discrimination in public higher education institutions, with a particular focus on racism. Prof Crain Soudien will chair the Ministerial Committee and its members are: Dr Olive Shisana, Professor Sipho Seepe, Ms. Gugu Nyanda, Mrs. Sankie Mthembi-Mahanyele, Dr Charles Villa-Vicencio, Prof. Mokubung Nkomo, Ms Mohau Pheko, Mr Nkateko Nyoka and Dr Wynoma Michaels. The Committee will also be expected to report on the following: the nature and extent of other forms of discrimination based on, for example, gender, ethnicity and disability in public higher education, and in particular university residences; the steps institutions have taken to combat discrimination, including an assessment of good practice as well as the shortcomings of the existing interventions; advise the Minister of Education and the key constituencies in higher education on the policies, strategies and interventions needed to combat discrimination and to promote inclusive institutional cultures for staff and students; identify implications for other sectors of the education system. Prof Crain Soudien is professor of education at UCT, the author of a study of integration in South African schools, and chair of the ministerial committee into school governing bodies (2004). Dr Olive Shisana is head of the HSRC and was previously DG of Health. Professor Sipho Seepe is the academic director the Henley College of Management and is the Chair of the South African Institute of Race Relations. Ms Gugu Nyanda was head of the DG of Education’s office until 2005 and is now a consultant. Mrs Sankie Mthembi-Mahanyele was the Deputy Secretary-General of the ANC and is a former Minister of Housing. Dr Charles Villa-Vicencio recently retired as the head of the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, and was the Director of Research at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Mokubung Nkomo is a professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Pretoria , and the co-editor of an HSRC conference proceedings on school integration. Ms Mohau Pheko ( http://secure.financialmail.co.za/06/1020/fox/ffox.htm ) is the co-ordinator of the gender and trade network in Africa . Mr Nkateko Nyoka is MTN’s group executive of corporate services and a former CEO of the Independent Communications Authority of SA. Dr Wynoma Michaels is a scientist and specialist trainer.

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