UWC saddened by death of Professor Adam Small

Cape Town – The University of the Western Cape (UWC) has expressed sadness at the death of one of its stalwarts, Professor Adam Small. 

The 79-year-old writer and poet died early on Saturday.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the university said Small was one of the intellectual founders of UWC and would be remembered as a "thoughtfully measured philosopher, a caring social worker with a profound sense of the emotional and material injustices to his fellow citizens, and as playwright who had the rare ability to articulate the cross currents of our time in the local patois".

Earlier on Sunday, President Jacob Zuma also extended condolences to Small's family and friends. 

On Saturday, Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille said Small had used his craft to highlight the oppression suffered by the working class under the apartheid regime.

Honorary doctorate

Small was born in the small Western Cape Town of Wellington on December 21, 1936. His family later moved to Goree outside Robertson where his father was a teacher.

He studied for a degree in languages and philosophy at the University of Cape Town and received an MA Cum Laude on the philosophy of Nicolai Hartmann and Friedrich Nietzsche.

He also studied at the University of London and the University of Oxford and lectured philosophy at the University of Fort Hare.

He served as UWC’s first head of the Department of Philosophy from 1960, left the employ of the university in 1973 and returned as the head of the Department of Social Work in 1984 where he played an influential leadership role until his retirement in 1997.

In recognition for his outstanding contributions to society, UWC conferred on him an honorary doctorate in 2001.

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