IJR director Stanley Henkeman dies following Covid-19 complications

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Stanley Henkeman
Stanley Henkeman
Supplied by IJR
  • The Institute for Justice and Reconciliation says its director, Stanley Henkeman, has died.
  • Henkeman died on Friday afternoon from complications related to Covid-19.
  • He is survived by his wife and three children.

Condolences have been pouring in for Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) executive director Stanley Henkeman, who died following complications related to Covid-19.

In a statement, the IJR said Henkeman died on Friday afternoon.

"Stan made an enormous contribution to the institute, first as programme head of its Building an Inclusive Society Programme and, later, as its executive director. During this period, he succeeded in solidifying the leading role that the IJR plays in justice and reconciliation processes in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent," a statement by the IJR read.

The IJR said he was particularly passionate about stressing the pursuit of social justice as a prerequisite for reconciliation in divided societies.

"During his tenure at the IJR, Stan's kindness and humanity made a deep impression on all of us, and we will miss him dearly. His legacy and passion for the IJR's vision of building fair, democratic and inclusive societies will continue to inspire the institute in years to come."

READ | This is what helped this father of two survive heart failure

IJR board chairperson Glenda Wildschut said Henkeman had a great passion for justice and reconciliation, especially through his work and collaboration with global organisations in this field.

"Stan was recognised both here and abroad as a highly-skilled and competent mediator and used these skills so ably in the work of the IJR."

She said Henkeman started his career in teaching and never lost his love for knowledge, teaching and, most importantly, people.

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation also sent condolences to his family, friends and associates.

It said it would remember Henkeman for his strong but unassuming leadership and commitment to anti-racism and social justice.

Henkeman underwent a heart transplant in 2007 after being diagnosed with end-stage heart failure the year before, Health24 reported.

After his transplant, he received World Transplant Games colours.

He was chairperson of the SA Transplant Sports Association (Satsa).

The association said Henkeman joined it in 2008.

"We commend Stan for all his hard work and enormous contribution to both Satsa and South African sports administration as a whole."

Before joining the IJR, Henkeman was employed by Operation Hope and the Centre for Conflict Resolution.

He held an MA in Religious Studies from the University of Cape Town, a BA Hons in Biblical Studies from the University of the Western Cape and a Teacher's Diploma.

Henkeman is survived by his wife, Sharon, and their children Luke, Joshua and Aaron.

News24 has been alerted to two campaigns claiming to be collecting donations for his funeral, which the family is not aware of, and they have asked people not to contribute.

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