Correctional Services inmate obtains LLB with 25 distinctions

Correctional Services inmate obtains LLB with 25 distinctions

By Godfrey Madibane, Acting Journalist, Department of Institutional Advancement (Unisa)

Unisa is a university rooted in making education accessible to all. Katlego Tlhabatlhaba, an inmate at Mangaung Correctional Centre, recently obtained a Bachelor of Laws degree at Unisa with 25 distinctions on record time.

He is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce in Law.

In its historical endeavour to make education accessible, Unisa has made it possible for those who desire higher quality education to obtain it, regardless of what circumstances beset them.

From anti-Apartheid stalwarts imprisoned at Robben Island to the historically disadvantaged and those in Correctional Services, thanks to the university’s unparalleled flagship Open Distance and eLearning design.

Tlhabatlhaba is one of many Unisa students serving testimony to this. He explains the achievement as one momentous feat in his life.

Commending the university for making education accessible, Tlhabatlhaba says: “Unisa is the largest institution in Africa, with a tried and tested longevity on providing quality education equally without any form of discrimination.”

He adds: “The university strives to correct past injustices by providing affordable education and information we were never exposed to due to the country’s historical background. Today, I feel equal among many graduates. The knowledge I gained through my studies enabled me to see things differently and to exercise my beliefs freely.”

Imprisonment of the body, not the mind

While in prison, Tlhabatlhaba says he draws inspiration from former prisoners such as Mbongiseni Mdakane (Unisa Psychology Lecture), Nelson Mandela and Dikgang Moseneke. He remarks: “Unisa carries the hallmark of and remains the only institution to give them access to education while in prison, and I am also following in their footsteps.”

He dreams of bringing light to others; he explains: “I will use my qualification to assist others, share my knowledge, and intellectually enlighten those in need. The world needs qualified individuals to make a difference in other people’s lives.”

Unisa is a mega university with illustrious alumni that has positively made an impact globally. “As South Africans, we must strive to protect the longevity and identity of this institution,” Tlhabatlhaba asserts.

Sharing wisdom with fellow students, Tlhabatlhaba concludes: “Studying for employment should not be the end goal. We should study for liberation and intellectual enlightenment.”

This article was first published by Unisa.
Pic supplied

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