Today's Big Stories

UCT rescinds Flemming Rose's invite for annual academic freedom lecture

The University of Cape Town last week rescinded an invite to journalist and editor Flemming Rose, who had been scheduled to give the TB Davie lecture on academic freedom in August.

In 2005 Rose commissioned the cartoons of the image of the Prophet Mohammed, which sparked protests and riots across the world.

UCT has been criticised for the decision and Prof Francis Petersen Acting Vice Chancellor joins Kieno Kammies to talk about their decision.

Peterson says they have done a careful analysis of the climate at UCT.

2015 has been a quite tense year, with protest action on campus.

Prof Francis Petersen Acting Vice Chancellor, UCT

He says they have polled leaders in different communities in Cape Town, and have also looked at people's views of the politics of Flemming Rose.

They concluded from this information, that there were serious threats of violence and conflict which the executive believe will escalate with Rose on campus.

"That is why we decided to ask the Academic Freedom Committee to disinvite Flemming Rose."

He says the university is fully committed to academic freedom and freedom of speech, and says the executive regrets they will not be holding the annual TB Davie lecture.

But as leadership at UCT, we are responsible to staff and students across the board.

Prof Francis Petersen Acting Vice Chancellor, UCT

Listen to the full interview below:

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