Raymond Louw Receives Honorary Doctorate from Wits University

02 Jul 2015
Raymond Louw receives honorary Doctorate from Wits University

PEN South Africa is very proud to announce that its Vice President Raymond Louw has received an honorary Doctorate of Literature from the University of the Witwatersrand.

“We are so pleased to see our vice president honoured in this way. It is so well deserved. Raymond Louw has been a champion of free expression for decades. We celebrate his achievement,” said PEN South Africa President Margie Orford.

The Doctorate was bestowed on Tuesday 30 June for his “unstinting service to journalism and the fight for free expression and unwavering opposition to censorship, both locally and globally,” according to the citation that describes his history and contribution to establishing and protecting freedom of expression.

“It is not an exaggeration to call him one of the preeminent freedom of expression fighters that South Africa and the world have ever seen.”
Read the full citation

In Raymond’s address to the graduating students and faculty, he discussed the Secrecy Bill and called on South African citizens to be vigilant and take a stand against recent political moves to subvert the judiciary and constitution:

“The uncertainty and dangers surrounding Zuma and his government’s intentions lead me to make an earnest appeal to South Africans to exercise maximum vigilance over his treatment of the judiciary and the Constitution as well as in regard to secrecy and restrictive legislation. When protest at what is happening occurs it must be long and loud. If the government continues to flout the orders of the judiciary and draws the teeth of the Constitutional Court, at present the last line of defence to preserve press freedom – indeed all our freedoms – the Constitution can be regarded as dead and South Africa will have made the plunge into an authoritarian state, if not worse.”
Read Raymond’s full speech

Read the University of the Witwatersrand’s article on Raymond Louw’s ceremony and speech.

(Image courtesy of the University of the Witwatersrand)