Jakes Gerwel dies aged 66

2012-11-28 06:50

Cape Town - Professor Jakes Gerwel, 66, chairperson of Media24, passed away peacefully at 03:26 on Wednesday morning at the Netcare Hospital in Kuils River.

The Gerwel family has requested that their privacy be respected.

Funeral arrangements will follow in due course.

According to Sapa, Gerwel was reported to be in a critical condition on Tuesday after he underwent heart surgery.

Gerwel 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.

His early life's work was mostly as an academic in roles which included educational adviser to the SA Students' Organisation, as a lecturer, as chancellor of Rhodes University, and later as rector of the University of the Western Cape.

He was also director general in the office of former president Nelson Mandela.

He served as chairperson of Media24 and Life Healthcare, and was the chairperson of the board of trustees of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory.

  • andy.zondi - 2012-11-28 06:56

    Rest in peace

      joe.moer.14 - 2012-11-28 08:00

      RIP - just think it is a bit rich for them to ask for privacy, they love to suck the life out of any story and publish it on their front pages without thinking twice or caring who they hurt in the process.

  • blip.noodlum - 2012-11-28 07:00

    R.I.P. A very fine man indeed.

  • neil.kroese - 2012-11-28 07:02

    Are you sure about it this time? RIP Professor.

  • greig.saunders - 2012-11-28 07:03

    Rest in peace Prof!

  • donnowin.ruiters - 2012-11-28 07:08


  • masenkaabnerk - 2012-11-28 07:09

    Rest in peace Prof

  • hellodanie - 2012-11-28 07:10

    R.I.P. great man.

  • patrick.mettler.73 - 2012-11-28 07:16

    A great man. RIP. Condolences to his loved ones.

  • beverly.young3 - 2012-11-28 07:18

    R.I.P and loving thoughts to his family. A sad loss.

  • ahdeel1 - 2012-11-28 07:20

    RIP Mr Gerwel.. may the Almighty eases the families pain.

  • peanutcluster - 2012-11-28 07:24

    May his soul rest in peace! I pray for him and his family! He contributed in no small measure - he is a great South African role model and a moral compass worthy of being followed!

  • jon.jones.90663894 - 2012-11-28 07:32

    RIP Jakes. You were a good man. And a nice one too.

  • zahierm - 2012-11-28 07:35

    RIP PROF!!

  • frans.visserdsb - 2012-11-28 07:41

    RIP... A person of integrity, honesty and honour. South Africans miss this calibre of person in our current government...

  • eugene.brink.9 - 2012-11-28 07:57

    Although he said apartheid was worse than Soviet communism and defended all of the ANC's ills, may he rest in peace.

      msika.gama.5 - 2012-11-28 08:04

      And you think apartheid was better than soviet communism?

      eugene.brink.9 - 2012-11-28 08:24

      Definitely. Not even for the black population (who would've been slaughtered and tortured in gulags under Soviet rule). I'm not saying Apartheid wasn't reprehensible, but it didn't come anywhere near what happened under communism. Jakes Gerwel never felt or witnessed the horrors that were committed in the Soviet Union, and his comments were pure nonsense.

      msika.gama.5 - 2012-11-28 09:20

      I am sure Jakes Gerwel was on the recieving end of apartheid, and experienced the effects of apartheid first hand, hence he made such comments. What about you, did you feel or witness the horrors of either aparteid or Soviet communism?

      eugene.brink.9 - 2012-11-28 10:09

      He certainly did, but how can he make such a comparison without being honest with the facts? And I didn't experience one of the two. And I didn't need to. I have friends who were born under communism and whose parents fled with them to SA. Others fled to the West and their stories are horrific. Black birth rates skyrocketed under Apartheid whilst the Soviet Union was losing people. I've read enough credible Cold War and Soviet history as well as SA history to know that communism was way worse than apartheid. But Apartheid was still an abomination. Gerwel was a professor, right? Where? Do you know? I'll tell you: He was a lecturer, professor, dean and rector of the University of the Western Cape from 1972 to 1989. Thus, under Apartheid! During his time there he launched into the Apartheid govt and nothing was done to him. He openly criticised them whilst being able to teach and pursue an esteemed academic career. He even obtained some of his qualifications during Apartheid. Were people in the Soviet Union, especially Stalin's critics, able to do this? I suggest you start reading up on Soviet history: The famines, the ban on free speech, the gulags, the summary executions, the abductions, the forced divorces, the Jewish holocaust under Stalin, the forced labour, etc. before you try to debate this issue. You fall into the same trap as Gerwel: You have a preconceived idea or viewpoint (obviously influenced by your past) and make claims without any historical facts.

      eugene.brink.9 - 2012-11-28 10:23

      @ Msika: You seem young, did you even experience apartheid?

      rajesh.sukha - 2012-11-28 18:05

      Can you understand the loss of loved one by reading about it- so how can you understand communism or apartheid without being on the receiving end of it.In as much as you cast your opinion on the matter( not fact I tell you) so did Jakes. And his intellectual and philosophical contributions have been recognised the world over-- so his views are credible and weighty. What have you offered the world to make your opinion worth anything?

  • msika.gama.5 - 2012-11-28 07:58

    Death be not proud! Rest in peace prof!

  • Desilusionada - 2012-11-28 08:07


  • talana.malherbe - 2012-11-28 08:10

    RIP, very honourable man.

  • andy.mku.9 - 2012-11-28 08:13

    that chairperson position should be given to an african media24 must be transformed

      tersia.louw.12 - 2012-11-28 09:01

      The Professor WAS an African. Oh sorry, once again - when you say "African" you mean black. This is neither the time nor the place for racist posturing.

  • veldt66 - 2012-11-28 08:17

    Eugene what an idiot u are! May the man rest in peace & u in hell.

      eugene.brink.9 - 2012-11-28 08:35

      Veldt, just because he's dead doesn't mean he's automatically a saint. He was generally a good man, but he made very dubious assertions which I don't agree with at all and never will agree with. Insult me all you want, the facts speak for themselves.

      furlong.lubisi.7 - 2012-11-28 09:16

      A dead person should be respected. Even if was 'stupid'

      msika.gama.5 - 2012-11-28 09:24

      @eugene, we respect death people, if you were an African you would know this.

      eugene.brink.9 - 2012-11-28 11:35

      I do respect him in general, but do we have to agree on everything? The fact that he's dead doesn't make all statements right. There are tons of dead people I admire, but I don't agree with everything they said whilst they were alive.

      rajesh.sukha - 2012-11-28 18:09

      Please Eugene stop- Damelin and recent studies ( undergraduate) don't make you an expert- certainly not one who can rebutt a world renouned academic like Gerwel.

  • ziyaadj1 - 2012-11-28 08:20

    Prof you where a true South African in Academia and Politics a great lost indeed a sad day for many of us at Rhodes University.

  • guruswiz - 2012-11-28 08:28

    I'm not proud of you. May rest in peace, Jakes Gerwel. #blameracist

  • ctbully - 2012-11-28 08:30

    My condolences to the Gerwel Family. Dr Gerwel was highly respected and has been a valuable asset to the struggle and our country. Rest in Peace.

  • igshaanp - 2012-11-28 08:33

    are they sure his realy dead this time,according2me they announeced him dead on monday already

  • mshiniboys - 2012-11-28 09:00

    He was still so young.

  • tersia.louw.12 - 2012-11-28 09:02

    Condolences to the Professor's family and friends. RIP, Prof.

  • Vusi Radebe - 2012-11-28 09:07

    a giant has fallen

  • cselemela - 2012-11-28 09:14

    May his soul Rest in Peace

  • Fundukululukunjakunne Why Cano - 2012-11-28 09:22

    May Prof. Jake's soul RIP condolences to family

  • phil.nzimande - 2012-11-28 09:53

    Rest in peace, Prof. You made your mark in the history of this country. We will always remember your contribution in the struggle for liberation of this country. My thoughts to the family and friends.

  • dreban - 2012-11-28 13:40

    'n Groot man. SA gaan hom baie mis.

  • jerome.pienaar.7 - 2012-11-28 18:12

    Prof Gerwel believed in freedom, he didn't just talk the talk but also walked the walk. Now u have eternal freedom 'Afrika Seun'. Condolences to the family. Hamba Kahle Jakes.

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