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Obituaries

We shall remember them

The UCT community wishes to extend its condolences to the friends, family and colleagues of former students and staff members who passed away recently.

Mr Tom Raworth
29 July 1938 to 8 February 2017

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The British poet Tom Raworth died on Wednesday, 8 February, after a long and courageous struggle with cancer. He will be remembered at UCT for his teaching of the very first course on creative writing, held in the English department in 1991; the exhibition of his books at the Jagger Library; and for the unforgettable readings he gave while here. A selection of writing by the students from the course was published as Velcro Donkey (Cape Town: Option 92, 1991).

The author of over forty books of poetry, his Collected Poems was published to acclaim by Carcanet Press in 2003, though this was followed by a number of subsequent books, including Windmills in Flame (Carcanet 2010) and the collected prose writings Earn Your Milk (Salt 2009). Regarded as one of the leaders of the British Poetry Revival, and widely respected by fellow avant-garde writers, he was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Alice Hunt Bartlett and Antonio Delfini prizes. His work has been translated into 14 languages, and he taught and read everywhere: from RSA to USA, from Mexico to Macedonia, in both China and Russia, and all over Europe.

He is remembered here by some of those he met at UCT.

South African poet, Ingrid de Kok writes: “It is with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Tom. I met him when he was teaching at UCT, then visited him and Val in Cambridge, and kept intermittent contact with him over the years … But, sadly, not enough. What I will always celebrate (apart from his buoyancy and vinous dinners together) is his extraordinary combination of wry observation, inventive and generous encouragement of students, and his vital radicalism as a poet and person. That radicalism, in poetic form and subject, and in political commitment, made and make him a great, unique, uncompromised poet.”

Adult educator and literary critic Tony Morphet, writes: “Blessed with the ancient gifts of verse, Tom gave his life to bestowing them on us. Once heard, his voice could never be forgotten.”

Former student Jacques Rousseau writes that he “was a generous, diligent and thoughtful mentor” and Professor Lesley Marx added that “He was such a joy to be with.”

Condolences also come from novelists JM Coetzee, Zoë Wicombe and Henrietta Rose-Innes.

John Higgins (Arderne Chair in Literature) writes: “Speed: that was Tom’s essence. The roller-coaster exhilaration of his readings; the movement of montage on the still page; the unblinking attention to hypocrisies both political and poetic; the ever-sharp attention to the visual and natural world of light, colour and shade; the humour, the laughter and the provocation. Everything was so quick: eating, drinking, moving from one cigarette to another, putting on the next record … And there was so much laughter; we all had so much fun. Speed. And with it, the ability to connect and juxtapose. Was anyone ever so generous? Did anyone have so many far-flung friends?”

UCT sends its condolences to his wife, Valarie Raworth, their four surviving children, and four grandchildren.


Professor Leon Kritzinger
08 February 1930 to 12 December 2016

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Professor Leon Kritzinger, a former Head of the Department of Accounting and Dean of the Faculty of Commerce at the University of Cape Town, passed away on Monday, 12 December. He was 86 years old.

Prof Kritzinger qualified as a chartered accountant in 1951, and began his academic career at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). It was at Wits that he wrote The Principles and Practice of Auditing (initially with Ian Taylor and later with George Puttick), the first book on auditing in South Africa, which became the definitive work on the topic.

He was appointed as Professor of Accounting at the then University of Port Elizabeth (now Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University) in 1965 and in 1969 he joined UCT as Professor of Accounting.

Prof Kritzinger’s contribution to accounting education in South Africa was monumental. He was instrumental in moving the accounting profession to the graduate profession that it is today, from part-time studies to full-time studies, and in introducing Honours degrees in Taxation and Accounting.

He served as Head of the Department of Accounting at UCT for 18 years, and thereafter as Dean of the Faculty of Commerce until his retirement in 1996.

It was his intervention in the 1970s that led to the first Black African chartered accountants qualifying in the country, through UCT. Prof Kritzinger founded the SA Society of University Teachers of Accounting which is now the Southern African Accounting Association.

He was active on numerous committees within the accounting profession and at UCT. Among others, he served as Warden of Smuts Hall and managed the finances of the Students' Health and Welfare Centres Organisation.

He leaves behind his wife, Pat, four children and several grandchildren.

According to Associate Professor Goolam Modack, the Acting Head of the College of Accounting, Prof Kritzinger will be remembered for the man he was – larger than life, amazingly adept at achieving his objectives, often in the teeth of opposition, and with a delightful sense of humour, at his best over a glass of red wine.

He mentored and encouraged countless chartered accountants. He will be greatly missed and long remembered.


Emeritus Associate Professor Craig M. Comrie
1946 to 2016

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Emeritus Associate Professor Craig Comrie was a pillar of strength in Physics at UCT for 40 years.

A few days after his 70th birthday, while walking his dog Mac on Rondebosch Common, Craig suffered a fatal heart attack. His sudden death denied him the joy of capping his son, Angus, who graduates with a PhD in Physics at UCT this month.

Born in Natal, Craig obtained a BSc and Bsc(Hons) at the University of Natal, and a PhD in Physics at the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge.

Craig joined UCT in 1976 straight from Cambridge.  He has been a popular figure in Physics since then, with his scientific skill coupled to a most likeable temperament.  He was a natural teacher, being a most successful lecturer in all years, but especially to the first year medics, and an efficient organiser of the huge first year laboratory. He also served as a curriculum advisor to students. His research focused on solid state, thin film and surface physics, where he used the Rutherford back-scattering technique at the iThemba LABS Van de Graaff accelerator to understand how metals diffuse into silicon. He supervised several MSc and PhD students and was a mentor to many more.

Noted for his clear thinking and sensible view of academic matters, Craig served on the committee of the Academics Association (now Union) for many years and on the UCT Retirement Fund committee.

Craig served as HoD of Physics on two occasions, first in the late 1990s and then again 2004-2007. Calm, experienced, able to take a balanced view, Craig's voice was always one of reason and common sense.

Research trips to Leuven in Belgium, weekends near Nature's Valley and walks in the Drakensberg with his wife Brigid and his children were a delight for him.

After retiring in 2011 Craig, now emeritus, continued research at iThemba LABS, and taught physics in the health science faculty.

His warmth, compassion and enthusiasm endeared Craig to all his colleagues. Our sympathies are with his wife Brigid, his children Caitlin, Laura and Angus, his grandchildren and extended family, and Mac.

Following the funeral on 16 December, the Department of Physics will host a celebratory event early in 2017.

Submitted by: Andy Buffler and David Aschman, UCT Physics


Dr Bill Bowen
6 October 1933 to 20 October 2016

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Dr Bill Bowen, the renowned labour economist who led a charge for breaking down exclusionary barriers at elite universities, and an important benefactor of poor students from UCT, passed away on 20 October 2016. He was 83.

An outstanding scholar, Bowen became the President of Princeton University at 38. His tenure was marked by championing the cause for poor and minority students to access elite colleges, for which he advocated both from his office and through his writing.

Bowen’s seminal 2000 book, The Shape of the River, argued an empirical case for the importance of affirmative action in college admissions. Bowen led Princeton to ending the ban on admitting women to the Ivy League college, and was a trailblazer for advancing the humanities and access to higher education across the globe.

In 1985 Professor Stuart Saunders, then Vice-Chancellor of UCT, spent a month touring universities in Europe, Israel and the United States to raise funds, chiefly for black students.

“Of all the presidents I met in the United States from the early 1980s, he was the one who impressed me the most,” Saunders wrote in his memoir, Vice-Chancellor on a Tightrope. “He showed a deep insight into the problems of South Africa and the particular problems facing the University of Cape Town, and the meeting was the beginning of a firm friendship and of consistent support by him for the university.”

Bowen became the president of the Andrew W Mellon Foundation after leaving Princeton in 1988. Under Bowen’s stewardship, Mellon directed funding to UCT and then, at Saunders’ bidding, to other universities. This funding ran into the millions, enabling poor black students especially to access the university. The Mellon Foundation remains a crucial source of funding for UCT students and researchers from disadvantaged backgrounds, from undergraduate through to doctoral level.

“UCT has lost an important friend,” said Registrar Emeritus Hugh Amoore, who had many interactions with Bowen over the years.

Bowen was conferred a Doctor of Economic Sciences degree, honoris causa, by UCT in 1996 and, in typically modest style, he insisted the ceremony be low key and away from the public gaze.

Story Yusuf Omar. Photo John WH Simpson, courtesy of the Princeton University Archives.


Dr Frederick J. (Sam) Sawkins
1935 to 2016

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Frederick John (Sam) Sawkins, born September 15, 1935, Cape Town, South Africa.

Sam Sawkins passed away quietly in his home in Urbanna, Virginia on Thursday, October 6. He is survived by his wife, "Ginny", his children, Peter Sawkins (Christine) and Annemarie Sawkins, Ginny’s son, Dan Stephano (Helene), his two beloved grandchildren, Emma and Cate, and his much loved dog and constant companion "Larry", also known as Lawrence of Urbannia.

Born in 1935 in Cape Town, South Africa to Arthur and Louise Sawkins, Sam grew up in Cape Town where he attended Bishops Diocesan College (high school) and the University of Cape Town.

As a young man, Sam travelled from Cape Town to Cairo and lived in the bush for months at a time. From Africa he moved to England where he attended the London School of Mines, and then to Princeton University where he earned his PhD in economic geology. He later earned a post-doctorate degree at the University of Durham, England. Sam later lived in Lima, Peru before moving to Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1968 to raise his family and take a position at the University of Minnesota where he was a Professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics until 1991.

Sam co-authored the influential and critically acclaimed textbook The Evolving Earth, and the highly lauded Metal Deposits in Relation to Plate Tectonics, along with over 50 articles in various professional journals. An avid rugby player and fan, he started the University of Minnesota Rugby Club in 1969, and coached its teams to many championships.

After taking early retirement, Sam moved to Hampton, VA to fulfill his passion for sailing, eventually logging over 26,000 miles of blue water sailing, including a trans-Atlantic sail. While in Hampton, he met Ginny, his true sailing partner, with whom he sailed throughout the Caribbean, Chesapeake and parts of the Pacific. They married in 1998 and moved to Urbanna to live on the banks of the Rappahannock River. While in Urbanna Sam was active with the local Rotary Club and was a Board member of the Deltaville Maritime Museum where he participated in many programs. He took great pleasure attending "Great Decisions", an annual program and lecture series, always contributing to the discussion at hand. He tutored local students, entertained many local organizations with presentations of his sailing adventures and trips to Africa including many his personal accounts of hair-raising safaris. Sam was a fixture at the local library and spent many quiet hours there. Never one to ignore important facts relating to the world’s energy and environmental problems, Sam regularly contributed to local editorial pages of local and regional newspapers. His commitment to science never stopped and his legacy in the field of science and physics will not soon be forgotten.

In August Sam was awarded special recognition by the Geological Society of South Africa (GSSA) at the Geological Society’s 35th International Congress held in Cape Town. In recognition for his lifelong contributions in the field of economic geology and its relation to plate tectonics, he received the Des Pretorius Memorial Medal recognizing his many achievements in economic geology, an award for which he was most proud.

Sam was an adventurer, an intellect full of boundless curiosity, a man of principle and a fierce advocate for the earth and its battle to endure economic, population and climate challenges. As was his wish, his body has been donated to science. A memorial gathering will take place on the Chesapeake Bay aboard the FD Crockett, Deltaville, Virginia in the fall of 2017. Contributions to Rappahannock Community College (for science education), Warsaw, Virginia, the Middlesex County Public Library, Urbanna, Virginia, the Deltaville Maritime Museum, and the Middlesex County Animal Shelter, Saluda, Virginia would please him very much.

He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. In loving memory.


Emer Prof Daniel P Kunene
13 April 1923 to 27 May 2016

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Daniel P Kunene, emeritus professor of African languages and literature at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, died peacefully at his home on the evening of 27 May 2016 surrounded by his family. He was 93.

Kunene was a renowned and award-winning author of poetry, short stories and translations, and an acclaimed linguist, scholar, transcriber of South African oral works, and translator of South African writers. He was a civil-rights activist and spokesperson in the long struggle against apartheid in South Africa.

He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, teacher and community leader in Madison.

He was born in Edenville, South Africa. He received a BA in 1949 from the University of South Africa and an MA in 1951 and a PhD in 1961 from the University of Cape Town. He married Selina Kunene (née Sekhuthe) in 1953. In 1963 he left South Africa with his family and found political asylum in the United States after a stay in London, England. He was in exile for 30 years and was only able to return to South Africa in the summer of 1993 with his beloved wife, Selina, for an emotional reunion with their families and a tour hosted by academic institutions in the country. Selina died on 22 October 1993. In 2003 he married Marci Kunene (née Mauricina Ellis) and lived a full, loving life with her through his last days.

He taught for 33 years at UW Madison in the Department of African Languages and Literature, in addition to teaching at the University of Cape Town; University of London; University of California, Los Angeles; and the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. In addition, he travelled extensively with his family and conducted research around the world in countries such as Lesotho, the Netherlands and Zambia.

He received honorary doctorate degrees from the University of South Africa (1999) and the University of Cape Town (2013), as well as numerous other awards and honours, including the Sol T Plaatje Translation Award by the English Academy of Southern Africa (2011), the Karel ?apek Award by the International Federation of Translators (2011), Honorary Member of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters (1997), Shuter and Shooter Prize for Literature (1995), and Honorary Member of the African Language Association of Southern Africa (1993).

Full of humour and zest for living, he enjoyed engaged discussion about literature, politics and social change.

Supplied by the Cress Funeral and Cremation Service

Read the full obituary...


Dr Graham Lindsay Drury Ross
1924 to 2015

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Dr Graham Ross, doyen of South African road engineers and transportation historians, passed away in December after a short illness.

He was born in Cape Town and attended Christian Brothers’ College, Green Point. Within a few days of matriculating in 1942, he volunteered for active service and was posted to the navy. After the war he enrolled at the University of Cape Town and then joined the Cape Provincial Roads Department on graduating in 1948. His first job was to help put the finishing touches to Du Toitskloof Pass, which was the beginning of his long love affair with the routes through the Cape mountains.

He really earned his spurs while serving as acting district engineer at Oudtshoorn, when he was tasked with finding a feasible new route for the Huis River Pass through the very tricky geology of the local mountain range.

He decamped in 1963 with his wife and young sons to attend Northwestern University in Illinois, where he obtained an MSc and formal skills in the emerging discipline of transportation engineering, and on his return was appointed a geometric design engineer. He produced a geometric design manual for South African conditions which has become the bible of local road designers. In 1967 Graham was recruited by Ninham Shand to establish and head up the Roads and Transportation Department in his firm, and within a year he was offered a partnership, which turned into a directorship when the firm became a company.

When he finally retired in 1993, Graham and his wife, Eileen, caravanned many thousands of miles around the country, documenting information on the mountain passes of the Cape. His notes, which were initially published as a series of articles in the SAICE magazine, became a marvellous database, Mountain Passes, Roads & Transportation in the Cape: a Guide to Research, which itself was later to become the well-known book Romance of the Cape Mountain Passes.

He was for a number of years the national president and later honorary life fellow of the South African Road Federation. Graham also received accolades and honours from several other professional bodies, including SAICE (honorary fellow), ASCE (life fellow), ITE (Institute of Transportation Engineers) (life fellow) and he was proudly a life associate member of the Sigma Xi Society. He was also very gratified to be a member of the Royal Geographical Society.

A very high-ranking dinghy sailor, despite his relatively light weight, Graham was in the front rank of Western Cape (and indeed South African) competitors at various times.

His research documents and extensive collection of transportation and historical references are housed in the Jagger Library at UCT.

Graham’s magnum opus concludes with a quote he found on a bridge across the Keiskamma River in the Eastern Cape:

The tree shall grow, the brook shall glide
The hill shall stand, the bridge shall bide
The builders like the fading ray
Of summer’s sunset pass away

But Graham’s inspiring example and legacy of knowledge will not pass away for many a year.

Farewell old padmaker, you travelled a long and splendid road.

By Tony Murray with contributions from Tony Abrahamson, Brian Alexander, Colin Carter, Steve Fanner, Peter Thomson, Mike Shand and Brenda Sudano.

Originally printed in the SAICE magazine, Civil Engineering.

Read the full obituary...


Associate Professor Elaine Salo
1962 to 2016

Click to enlargeElaine Rosa Salo trained in anthropology at UCT in the early 1980s. She completed her PhD at Emory, examining gendered roles in Mannenberg, Cape Town. She was part of UCT's African Gender Institute from 2000 to 2008, before leaving to become director of Women and Gender Studies at the University of Pretoria. She became associate professor in political science and international relations at the University of Delaware in 2014. An outspoken feminist scholar, public intellectual and generous mentor, she will be sorely missed. Rest in power.


Dr Augustine Shutte
1938 to 2016

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Augustine Shutte, who taught philosophy at UCT since 1972, died in the early morning of Monday 23 May, from a cancer which had gradually spread throughout his body.

He was well-known as a popular lecturer on science and religion and edited a volume of essays through a Templeton Foundation grant, The Quest for Humanity in Science and Religion: the South Africa experience (2005). He is also author of Ubuntu. An ethic for a new South Africa (2001), following on from the earlier Philosophy for Africa (UCT Press, 1993).

Previously he had been ordained first in the Anglican, then the Catholic Church, and was a member of the Dominican Order of friars. He married twice, to Stephanie Gerard, with whom he had three children Jonathan, Thomas and Anna, and then to Acilia Schoeman. At various points he was chair of the Catholic Theology Society of South Africa and of the UCT Philosophy Society. His philosophy was broadly Aristotelian and Thomistic but transposed into a modern key of subjectivity and intersubjectivity, and issued in a PhD entitled, “Spirituality and Intersubjectivity”, in which the influence of Karl Rahner and of John Macmurray was prominent. Much of his writing was engaged in grappling with the dominant materialist and reductionist trend in philosophy in the English-speaking world, in order to offer a non-materialist but non-dualist alternative.

His theology matured over a period of fifty years of reflection recorded in his recently completed memoirs, not yet published, from an orthodox (but progressive) understanding to a version of the Christian faith in a secular and scientific age open to all religious traditions. The earlier thought was published as The Mystery of Humanity (1993) and the more developed in a series of articles put together as The Christian God. He has recently practiced as a priest in the Roman Catholic Women’s Priest Movement and has been active in the reform movement We Are All Church South Africa. His poems have enlightened and amused his many friends. His novel, Conversion, set largely in the Dominican priory in Stellenbosch in the late 1960’s, is available in a kindle version.

The memorial service for Augustine Shutte will take place on Saturday 28 May 2016 at 14:00.
Venue: Christ Church, Constantia, corner of Main and Parish Road.


Emeritus Professor Timothy Dunne
1948 to 2016

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Tim Dunne trained as a mathematics teacher before completing his later studies in mathematics and statistics at the University of Natal and his doctorate in mathematical statistics at UCT. He joined the UCT academic staff in 1981 and was a member of the Department of Statistical Sciences for more than three decades until his retirement at the end of 2013. He served as head of the department for eight years and was very involved in many UCT committees. He loved UCT, especially the history of the university and the campus buildings.

He was a fellow, and a past president, of the South African Statistical Association. Over the years he served on the Councils of the International Biometric Society and the International Statistical Institute. He organised national and international conferences and workshops in various statistical disciplines. He served on the Council of UMALUSI, the body with oversight responsibility for school-leaving examinations in South Africa. His interests included the Schools Development Unit at UCT of which he was a board member.

Prof Dunne's academic interests during the latter part of his career involved the study of Rasch modelling and analysis of educational test performances. It was his passionate belief that these new technologies could contribute to the improvement of the numeracy and mathematics levels in South African schools and universities.

He was a highly intelligent man with an exceptional insight into the theory and application of statistics. He would often send his colleagues interesting probability problems or questions in logic to contemplate. He was very articulate but would never say something in five words if he could use 10 and then would throw in a phrase of Latin for good measure as well.

He will be particularly remembered for his social conscience, always concerned about the welfare of others and the upliftment of society. His colleagues remember him for his kindness, his mentorship, his encouragement and support to each and every one on an individual level. He had a unique impact on the lives of each and every student he came in contact with, not only teaching them statistics but preparing them for life.

Through his untimely death at the age of 67, UCT and the South African academic community have lost a very special man who will be remembered for his intellect, his integrity, his humour, and his generosity. We will treasure his legacy for a long time to come.


Mr David Brown
1951 to 2016

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David Brown was a graduate of the Michaelis School of Fine Art, studying graphic design from 1970 and completing a postgraduate diploma in photography in 1973. It was during this year that he photographed members of the Harfield Village community, in a body of work recently curated by Dr Siona O’Connell as “Returned to Harfield” at the Homecoming Centre. It was only after his formal studies that he was introduced to sculpture by Cecil Skotnes, and this was the start of his life-long love affair with a creative practice: with the scoop of a gouge through Jarrah wood, the slice of a blade through copper, the glance of an angle grinder on steel, and the push and pull of beeswax.

His works are reminiscent of Breughelian tableaus, and of battlefields in which sanity is suspended and contradiction reigns. His works from the 1980s and early 1990s responded to the horrors of apartheid, to dehumanisation, violence and the abuse of power. Many of these works are to be found on the University of Cape Town campus and remain a constant reminder of the injustices of the past and a cautionary warning that they not be repeated.

His witty and wry sculptural work influenced generations of artists. David was for many of us a friend, a mentor, and a member of the extended Michaelis family. He regularly donated work to auctions and print portfolios at the school to raise funds in support of student scholarships.

His untimely death three weeks ago leaves an impossible void in the hearts of many, and I thought are and have been with Pippa and Jules. David’s work will serve as a reminder of an artist with humility, integrity and courage, and he will always be remembered for his generosity, his freedom of spirit, and for his laugh.


Mr Granville de la Cruz
1954 to 2016

It is with deep sadness that we announce that Mr Granville de la Cruz passed away peacefully on the evening of 31 March 2016 after a long battle with cancer. Granville has been with the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Cape Town for 46 years and has been the embodiment of the spirit of the Department. He was a Senior Technical Officer in the the electronics workshop.

A Memorial Service for Granville will be held on Friday, 8 April at 10h00 in the ChemEng Tea Room.


Mr Richard Wake
1935 to 2016

Richard Wake was an artist and teacher who enabled huge shifts in artistic practice in South Africa in the late 1960s and 1970s. Following a move to Germany in 1973 he continued to work prolifically into the 21st century producing permanent public works and influential exhibitions.

Richard Wake was part of a generation educated at the Michaelis School of Fine Art in Cape Town in the 1950s by artists such as Lippy Lipschitz.

He is survived by his wife and their two daughters.

Read the full obituary


Mr Garth Griffin
- to 2015

Garth Griffin, a UCT Foundation trustee, long-serving member of the Joint Investment Committee, former UCT Council member – and, over 30 years ago, a part-time lecturer in actuarial science at UCT – has died.

Garth had a long and varied career in actuarial science. He served as managing director of Old Mutual, group CEO of Sage Life and Chair of Absa. He briefly chaired the Actuarial Society of South Africa (ASSA) committee that developed the ASSA-JSE Indices, served on the Smith Committee on Retirement Provision, represented ASSA on the joint standing committee that supervised the establishment of actuarial courses at UCT and chaired the Actuarial Society Development Trust until recently.

Colleagues remember Garth for the very high standards he set for himself, coupled with the remarkable patience he showed others who did not necessarily meet his standards. Although he did not shy away from taking tough decisions and providing leadership, Garth was open to input from others. He took a keen interest in helping others fulfill their potential and really enjoyed mingling with younger actuaries.


Mr Konke Mazwai
1988 to 2015

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It is with sadness in our hearts that we bid farewell to UCT Alumnus, Konke Mazwai. He was born on 13 February 1988 in Mthatha. He graduated from the University of Cape Town in 2011 obtaining a BSc Mechanical Engineering Degree. He also obtained an additional qualification in 2012 from Expro (GDP) Mena School in Egypt.

Konke was enthusiastic and passionate about his work, his faith and his family. He was extremely active as a student and resident of Kopano House and an active member of many university clubs, including 'His People', the Investment Society, Karate and Students Christian Fellowship. In his spare time he tutored high school learners in maths and science and encouraged several of his friends to do the same or find some other way of giving back. He started his professional career as a Production Engineer in 2011 for AES Africa. In 2012 he moved to work for Expro Gulf, first as a well-test engineer and then as a data acquisition engineer as of 2013.

On 29th March 2014 he married the love of his life, Silindile Mazwai (Makhumalo) affectionately referred to by him as 'wife of Konke'. They relocated to Port Elizabeth where he worked for National Oilwell Varco (NOV) as a field service technician until his untimely death on 1 September 2015. His career gave him great opportunities to travel abroad to countries such as Egypt, Kenya, Ghana, Ethiopia and the United States. He was on a China work-trip when he passed on.

He was an avid Orlando Pirates fan, a part-time comedian, a YouTube enthusiast and a follower of Christ. He was laid to rest on 26 September 2015 in his home at eMqonci, Eastern Cape. He leaves behind his wife, brother, cousins and many nephews and nieces.


Mrs Joan van den Ende
1914 to 2015

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Beloved former Baxter Residence warden, Mrs Joan Van den Ende, passed away in early August 2015, at the age of almost 101 years. "Mrs Van" as she was fondly known, was delighted when, last year, the UCT alumni office celebrated her 100th birthday with her. She is survived by her children and grandchildren. Her late husband, Marinus van den Ende, was a UCT medical professor. The funeral will be held at Christ Church, Constantia, on Wednesday, 12th August, at 14h00.


Dr Martin Singer
1921 to 2015

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Alumnus Dr Martin Singer (94), a world-renowned UCT hand surgeon, died on 8 July.

In 2004 Singer, after whom The Martin Singer Hand Clinic at Groote Schuur Hosiptal was named, became the first South African and African to receive the Pioneer of Hand Surgery award, presented by the International Federation of Societies for Surgery of the Hand.

Hand injuries, especially work-related, are some of the most commonly treated in emergency rooms. Anatomically, the hand is one of the most intricate and complex parts of the body.

Singer was a dyed-in-the-wool UCT alumnus; he graduated MBChB in 1944 with first-class honours.

After the war, he went to the United Kingdom, keen to become a paediatric surgeon. But after advice from his brother he applied to the Royal National Orthopaedics Hospital in Middlesex.

Singer described it as"a sleepy country hospital" where he thought there would be time for study. But (Sir) Herbert Seddon took over, revolutionising the facility and attracting surgeons from all over the world.

Singer trained with luminaries like Jackson Burrows, a pioneer in limb salvage, and David Trevor, a world authority on congenital dislocation of the hip.

In 1951 he became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (England). He returned to South Africa in 1956 and after going into private practice, also worked at many of the province's hospitals, including the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital, the Cerebral Palsy School and the Maitland Cottage Home, where he was surgeon for 25 years and afterwards honorary superintendent.

Forming the hand unit was a hard-fought battle. The notion of a hand unit outside the orthopaedic unit was unpopular. To do so, Singer resigned from orthopaedic surgery and joined the general surgery department.

GSH was the first hospital in the country to have a dedicated hand unit, albeit a humble affair behind a screen in the old trauma unit. The team worked without even rudimentary equipment. That he later invited plastic surgeons to be part of the team was part of his inherent visionary approach to hand surgery.

And once the microvascular laboratory was established in the surgery division, Singer made it mandatory for all hand registrars to train in microvascular techniques at least once a week during their six-month stay.

Under Singer's guidance, the hand clinic introduced a number of firsts: the first hand replants in South Africa; a congenital hand clinic at the Red Cross; and the first Brachia Plexus injury clinic.

There were other innovations attached to Singer's name: the introduction of a cast bracing technique at GSH in 1981 to shorten hospital stay after femoral and tibial plateau fractures; a "hot box" therapy to manage hand patients in an atmosphere of dry heat to prevent spasms; and stockinette sleeve dressings enabling patients to move their hands straight after surgery.

Singer served as president of both the South African Society for Surgery of the Hand (1973 to 1975), and the South African Orthopaedic Association (1977 to 1979).


Dr Tham Mathinde
1962 to 2015

Click to enlargeDr Tham Mathinde worked at Somerset Hospital for the past 28 years as an obstetrician and gynaecologist, having emigrated from Zimbabwe. Tham remained deeply committed to his country of origin. He was a deeply respected and loved teacher, who was highly praised by both under- and postgraduates alike. He was a great storyteller and had a fabulous sense of humour. He was richly loved and revered in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and was known for his generosity and luminosity.


Emeritus Associate Professor Brian Paddon
1932 to 2015

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Emeritus Associate Professor Brian Paddon passed away on 20 June 2015 having been an academic in the Department of Chemical Engineering from 1969 until his retirement in 1994. Brian was born in Calcutta, India, in 1932 and spent his early childhood in Amritsar and attended school in Darjeeling. During WW II he and his sister were sent to back to South Africa and Brian matriculated at St Andrews College in Grahamstown in 1950.

He went on to UCT where he graduated with a degree in Applied and Industrial Chemistry (shortly thereafter to become Chemical Engineering). His first job was at Mobil refinery in Durban where he was involved in the early development of Mobil's first fluidized catalytic cracking unit. He returned to Cape Town in 1963 continuing to work with Mobil and during that time completed his MBA as one of the first graduates from UCT's Graduate School of Business. In 1969 Brian left the corporate world for a position in the Department of Chemical Engineering at UCT joining other luminaries from the early days of Chemical Engineering such as the late Donald Carr and Heinrich Buhr.

The Department in those days was quite small with only a handful of lecturers and graduating classes of between 10-20. However Brian and his colleagues created a wonderful foundation for what is today widely regarded as one of the leading Departments of Chemical Engineering globally. The Department benefited greatly from having someone on its lecturing staff with such extensive industrial experience and Brian became renowned as the convener of the tough Design Course which is the capping course to the Chemical Engineering degree. His knowledge of chemical engineering processes was legendary and through this he made an enormously positive impact on generations of chemical engineering students.

Brian Paddon, ever cheerful and pleasant to all and sundry, was passionate about his teaching and will be fondly remembered by colleagues not only in Chemical Engineering but also in all the Engineering Departments at UCT. Staff and students will recall how wonderfully helpful he was at all times to students struggling with the basics of chemical engineering and to new young academics still finding their feet. The University and Chemical Engineering in particular are deeply indebted to Brian for his dedicated and passionate contributions to the Department over almost three decades and he will long be remembered by all those with whom he came into contact.



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