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S. Africa university postpones conferring honorary degree on visiting Obama


19:49, June 26, 2013

JOHANNESBURG, June 26 (Xinhua) -- The University of Johannesburg on Wednesday announced it will put off the conference of an honorary degree on U.S. President Barrack Obama to a future date.

The University of Johannesburg is one of the largest comprehensive contact universities in South Africa, with nine faculties having more than 90 departments and an enrolment of approximately 50,000 students.

During Obama's first state visit to South Africa on Saturday, the University of Johannesburg was initially supposed to honor Obama with an honorary degree.

Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of Johannesburg Ihron Rensburg said the honorary degree will be awarded in the future at an appropriate occasion.

This came after the South African Students Congress (SASCO), South African Communist Party (SACP), the Young Communist League of South Africa (YCL) and others are preparing to demonstrate against Obama's visit.

They are against Obama being honored, claiming he is responsible for masterminding wars in various parts of the world and killing innocent people and is not fit to be honored.

The university defended its stance, saying Obama deserves the honorary degree.

"Obama meets all our criteria for outstanding leadership that contributes to human development and public scholarship," said the principal.

During Obama's stay in South Africa, he will hold talks with his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma to advance the bilateral ties.

He will interact with young leaders by focusing on youth development. He will also visit heritage sites in Cape town.

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