RSA (Pre-1994): Opening of the Main Building of the Mangosuthu Technikon

RSA (Pre-1994): Opening of the Main Building of the Mangosuthu TechnikonRSA (Pre-1994): Opening of the Main Building of the Mangosuthu Technikon
Form: Circular
By: ?
Date: 1982
Ref:  Laidlaw: 1039;
50.1 mmBronze50.3 gm$10

Edge: Plain.

Obverse: Abstract design representing the architecture of the Technikon's building. Legend around small central disc in isiZulu: "ULWAZI LUNGAMANDLA (knowledge is power)".

Reverse: In the centre, surrounded by a wide band, head of a water buffalo. Legend, on three concentric beveled arcs, upper left: "THE THIRD DAY / OF APRIL / 1982" and on the remainder: "THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE MAIN BUILDING OF THE MANGOSUTHU TECHNIKON / PRESENTED BY H.F. OPPENHEIMER ON BEHALF OF THE DONORS / RECEIVED BY THE PEOPLE OF KWAZULU BY CHIEF MANGOSUTHU G. BUTHELEZI"

Notes: Harry Frederick Oppenheimer (1908 – 2000) was a leading South African businessman. His father was Sir Ernest Oppenheimer. Harry was born in Kimberley and had a Jewish upbringing. As chairman of Anglo American Corporation and De Beers Consolidated Mines he was one of the world's richest men.

Chief Mangosuthu (Gatsha) Buthelezi (1928 -) is a South African politician and Zulu tribal leader who founded the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) in 1975 and was Chief Minister of KwaZulu (the apartheid homeland for Zulus) until 1994.

Oppenheimer and Buthelezi had discussions in 1974 regarding the establishment of an institution for the training of black technical engineers. Oppenheimer donated R5 million and additional funds were secured from other South African companies. Umlazi, a black township within the Durban Metropolitan area, was chosen as the site for the new technikon. Teaching began in 1979 and the technikon moved into the main buildings when they were completed in September 1981. In November 2007, Mangosuthu Technikon was renamed Mangosuthu University of Technology.

The buildings of the technikon were designed by the well-known Natal architect, Hans Heyerdahl Hallen (1930 - ).