Address by Professor Kader Asmal

Scope and Content

Copy of address by Professor Asmal to the Anti-Apartheid Movement's 40thAnniversary Symposium at South Africa House, London, 26th June 1999.

Administrative / Biographical History

Professor Kader Asmal was born in Stanger, South Africa, 1934, training as ateacher then spending 30 years in exile during the banning of the AfricanNational Congress. While in exile, he became a barrister in Britain andIreland, studied at the London School of Economics and taught law at TrinityCollege, Dublin, winning the UNESCO Prize in 1983 for teaching human rights law.

He was a founder of the British and Irish Anti-Apartheid Movements andachieved a number of honours and citations in the area of human rights andsocial justice. He made an important contribution to the drafting of theSouth African Constitution, promoted equality of gender, and was made aProfessor of Human Rights at the University of the Western Cape on his returnto South Africa.

In 1994 he was appointed Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry,spearheading an overhaul of water management, based on a sustainable approach.He was instrumental in the National Water Act of 1998, the Community WaterSupply and Sanitation Program, the Working Water Program and the National WaterConservation Campaign. In [1999] he became Minister of Education butmaintained a keen interest in water and environmental management, as Chairman of theWorld Commission Dams, a key member of the World Water Commission for the21st Century, and a contributor to the Stockholm Water Symposia, for instance.

He has been awarded honorary doctorates for human rights by Queen'sUniversity, Belfast, 1966, for water conservation and environmental concernsby Rhodes University, 1997, his work in civil liberties and internationalaction against apartheid by Trinity College, Dublin, 1998, and for waterconservation by the University of Cape Town, 1999. He was also given theChair of the Ethics Subcommittee of the Houses of Parliament in South Africa.

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Collection level description created by Paul Davidson, Bodleian Library ofCommonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House.

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