Prof’s death ‘a loss to the city’

2017-12-19 06:00
The late professor Richard van der Ross.

The late professor Richard van der Ross.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The City of Cape Town has sent condolences to the family of Professor Richard van der Ross from Plumstead, a Freeman of the City of Cape Town, who passed away last Wednesday at the age of 96.

Professor van der Ross was awarded the Freedom of the City, the highest civic honour, on 5 September 1988. He was a recipient of the Freedom of the City along with other great giants, including former President Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, and Struggle stalwart Ahmed ­Kathrada.

The Freedom of the City recognises extraordinary contributions or acts of service to the City and its residents. These include upholding the rights of others, serving one’s community above oneself, and contributing to nation building through outstanding service and achievements.

In a statement, Mayor Patricia de Lille says Professor Van der Ross was a great son of Cape Town who made an immense contribution to the City as a teacher and activist during apartheid. He was the first editor of the Cape Herald, and the rector of the University of the Western Cape. He was also the first principal at Grassy Park Secondary School and that same year became the first coloured man to receive a doctoral degree in South Africa.

Most recently in 2016, he released his book, In Our Own Skins: A Political History of the Coloured People.

“This is a great loss to the City and we extend our heartfelt condolences to his two children, Ben van der Ross and Freda Brock, and his seven grandchildren, family and friends. They are all in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time,” says De Lille.


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Enter the examination number or search by province or school (NSC Students) to view results.

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.