Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Paul Mashatile pays tribute to Professor Jakes Gerwel
28 Nov 2012
It was with deep sadness that we learnt of the passing of Professor Jakes Gerwel this morning. He was 66 years old. He was a highly respected academic and was the vice-chancellor and chancellor of many of South Africa’s well established universities from the 1980’s onwards. He was the Chancellor of Rhodes University at the time of his death.
He published many books. Some of the books he compiled or wrote recently are Crossing Over, Keer-Punt, IN the Rapids, Grape – Stories of Vineyards of South Africa and Stroomversnelling. His previous publications include the ground-breaking study, Literatuur en Apartheid.
Gerwel was awarded many Professorships from various South African academic institutions and held several honorary doctorates from both local and international universities. He was also awarded the Order of the Southern Cross (Gold) by the then President Nelson Mandela.
An outstanding person, Prof Jakes Gerwel was a well-respected political figure and a passionate and renowned humanitarian.
He was also a respected businessman and occupied very senior positions, being the Chair of many Boards of Trustees. He was a non-executive director of Naspers and Old Mutual. A person of his stature was embraced by all sectors.
The Department of Arts and Culture feels his loss deeply as he contributed to education, to ideas, to literature and to dialogue. He attended the inaugural National Social Cohesion Summit in July 2012 in Kliptown, Soweto.
His passing away is an exceptional loss to the nation. Gerwel's deep wisdom in many matters will be sorely missed. He contributed to many facets of our life in South Africa. Our sincerest condolences go out to his wife, Phoebe, the family, all his friends, colleagues and all those he mentored.
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Issued by: Department of Arts and Culture
28 Nov 2012
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