ANC Central Number
Click to join the ANC
African National Congress




Author : Jackson Mthembu

ANC is saddened by the untimely death of Professor Jakes Gerwel

28 November 2012

The African National Congress is shocked and saddened by the untimely death of Professor Jakes Gerwel, who died in the early hours of today (Wednesday, 28 November 2012) morning at the Kuilsriver Hospital.

Prof Gerwel was reported to be in a critical condition on Tuesday after he underwent heart surgery. He died at the age of 66 year.

Prof Gerwel was elected a member of the ANC`s Western Cape regional committee in 1991.

He served as the Director General in the office of President Nelson Mandela. Prof Gerwel served President Nelson Mandela with distinction in his public office as well as in retirement. He played a defining role in the administration and development of policy options of the democratic government as the first Director General and Cabinet Secretary. During his time in government, he named crime and unemployment as two areas of concern.

He was a Chairperson of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Mandela Rhodes Foundation and played a defining role in the administrative and policy options of government.

He was an academic, executive and multi-award winner. His awards include the Order of Southern Cross from Mandela, the Order of Good Deeds from Libya and Freedom of the Town from Somerset East.

Prof. Gerwel served as the Chancellor of Rhodes University until 2012. He was also a Distinguished Professor of Humanities at the University of the Western Cape, Honorary Professor of Humanities at the University of Pretoria, and Chairman of the Human Sciences Research Council. He served as a Non-Executive Director of Naspers Limited and Old Mutual, and as Chairman of Media24 Limited. He also served as the chairman for the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, and chairman of the board of trustees for the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory.

He was a well-known figure in South Africa`s political history and in his later years, he chaired and was on the board of major organisations and corporations.

In the late 1960s, he became involved in the Black Consciousness Movement. He became an educational advisor to the South African Students` Organisation (Saso) in the early 1970s.

During the 1980 education protests, Prof. Gerwel was detained by police. Nine years later, he and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, together with fellow teacher Franklin Sonn, were arrested during a march in Cape Town.

He has also been a chairman of SAA and a chancellor of Rhodes of University.

Prof Gerwel was also the chairman of the policy committee of the 2003 cricket World Cup.

He was married to Phoebe Abrahams and they had two children a daughter Jessie, a son Heinrich and four grandchildren.

The ANC will always cherish the contribution that Professor Gerwel made to the ANC and the people of South Africa in general.

The ANC will publish his funeral arrangement details as soon as the family has finalised them.

May his soul rest in peace

Issued by:
Jackson Mthembu
ANC National Spokesperson
African National Congress

Keith Khoza 0828239672
Ishmael Mnisi 0823335550