It is striking, in the postcolonial era, how little the modern African university has to do with African institutions. It draws its inspiration from the colonial period and takes as its model the discipline based, gated community that maintained a distinction between clearly defined groups: administrators, academics and fee-paying students. The origins of this arrangement lay in 19th-century Berlin, and Humboldt University, founded in 1810 in the aftermath of Napoleon’s conquest of Prussia. The African university makes its appearance later in the 19th century. At the southern end of the continent, colleges were started from scratch – Stellenbosch, Cape Town, Witwatersrand. In the north, existing institutions such as al-Azhar in Cairo, a centre of Islamic scholarship, were ‘modernised’ and new disciplines introduced.
Enter the Mbeki-defending goons that Tandwa quotes. Like Matthias Rath (the vitamin salesman), and Peter Duesberg (an academic who cannot get published in a peer-reviewed journal), Anthony Brink (an advocate) and Chris Rawlins (an accountant) are not recognised by any scientific forum as “experts” on HIV. To confer on them the title of “independent researcher” when they obviously do not have the skills to conduct such research, is an egregious error. The irony is that the privileged, old, white, and male AIDS denialists, while relying on the gullibility of young journalists, claim to be advancing a decolonial agenda.BACK TO TOP