Obituary: Former Natal administrator Radclyffe Cadman

2011-10-12 00:00

RADCLYFFE Macbeth Cadman, administrator in the old Natal provincial government from 1984 until 1990, died yesterday shortly after undergoing surgery.

Tributes to Cadman (87) were paid by members of his executive committee, former MECs Tino Volker and Peter Miller. Volker said Cadman was highly respected, absolutely efficient and demonstrated political decorum in his handling of provincial issues.

Miller described the former administrator as one of the most superb intellects that he ever worked with and a man of letters who was balanced, thoughtful and far-sighted in his approach.

Born in Durban in January 1924, Cadman was educated at Durban High School and the University of Cape Town. He won a scholarship to Cambridge University where he obtained an MA and an Ll.B. He served in the South African Navy and the Royal Navy during World War 2 as a sub-lieutenant.

Cadman practised as an advocate at the Durban Bar and during this time met and married his late wife Ann. In 1969 he left the bar and took up full-time farming in Eshowe, Zululand.

He was leader of the United Party (UP) in the province and retired from active politics in 1977. After the demise of the UP in 1977, he was elected leader of the opposition by the parliamentary caucus of the New Republic Party (NRP).

In 1984, he became the first member of a party other than the National Party to be appointed by the then ruling party as administrator of Natal. Media reports described his appointment as a surprise move.

The Witness political reporter at the time, Jon White, in a profile on Cadman, described him as a gentleman of the old school, with impeccable manners and a quiet charm. He was not known for his sense of humour, but was someone who seldom raised his voice.

Cadman leaves a daughter and two sons. His funeral will take place on Friday, October 14 at 11 am at the Eshowe Anglican Cathedral.

• nalini@witness.co.za

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