Prof Mashupye H Maserumule, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Humanities.
In his welcome address at the event that took place Ruth First Hall on 10 and 11 October, Prof Mashupye H Maserumule, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, said: “We are proud and delighted to announce that during the 2023 Spring graduation season, TUT will add a total of 2644 future-ready graduates to the national, continental and international workforce. As part of our contribution to original research and development, TUT will also graduate 125 master’s degree candidates and a total of 15 doctoral degree candidates, during this Spring graduation season.”
Picking up from the 25 Master’s and 11 Doctoral degrees awarded during the 2023 Autumn graduations, the University added to this number, conferring 41 Masters and 23 Doctoral degrees at the Spring graduation ceremony.
Amongst those who graduated was Dr Lakela Kaunda, Deputy Director-General (DDG): Administration at the National School of Government. The school is part of the Ministry for Public Service and Administration (MPSA), under the leadership of Minister Ms Noxolo Kiviet and Deputy Minister Dr Chana Pilane-Majake. “I am super excited about obtaining the Doctor of Public Affairs degree from the people’s university, TUT. It has been a taxing journey since I began my studies in 2020, due to the volume of work that needed to be done. At the same time, it was an enlightening and exciting journey given the various activities we engaged in. These included participating in conferences and delivering academic papers, coordinated by the Department of Public Management through our supervisor, Prof Ricky Mukonza.” said Dr Kaunda.
When asked what her study entailed, Dr Kaunda explained that her thesis focused on the role of the media in deepening democracy in local government. It is a contribution towards improving the way the local government sphere is covered by mainstream commercial newspapers. She added that the study explored the status accorded to local government in newspapers, looking into whether they have fulltime reporters covering municipalities and local government. It found that, while the newspapers played an important watchdog role, there was a shortcoming due to the lack of fulltime local government reporters. A new model for the coverage of local government, called the Media Watchdog and Development Model, was developed from the study. It recommends that each newspaper should have a fulltime local government or municipal reporter. In that sense, local government or municipalities would be covered by the media on an ongoing basis, and not only when there is a scandal or breaking news.
Staff members who obtained their Doctor of Public Affairs degrees on 10 October 2023 are Dr Peter Mampane, a Lecturer in the Department of Public Management and Dr Madikana Jackinah Mokgokong, a part-time lecturer from Polokwane Campus. Another part-time lecturer, Dr Bongani Ndlazi, graduated from the University of South Africa with a Doctor of Law in Criminal and Procedural Law on 29 September 2023. Dr Ndlazi is from the Faulty of Humanities at the eMalahleni Campus.