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UWC Mourns Passing Of Dorothy Abrahams: A Life of Service and Compassion

“I’ll see what I can do.” Dorothy Abrahams will always be remembered for those words - and for always living by them, and helping countless students in 25 years of service at UWC.

(Published - 29 January 2019)

The University of the Western Cape (UWC) extends sincere condolences to the family and friends of Dorothy Abrahams, who passed away on 17 January 2019.

Her career at UWC started in April 1992 as administrative officer within the Student Accounts section in the Finance Department, and she spent 25 years helping countless students find a way to successfully attain an education.

“Dorothy was a very private person who dedicated her time to her family and her friends - she was like a mother to all her family's kids,” said Colleen Arendse, her long-time colleague at UWC. “She was also very hardworking, and gave 110% in her job and to helping students in need. She was a mentor to many, and she had a heart of gold.”

Dorothy Abrahams (or Dottie, as she was known to most) was born to Alfred and Maria Abrahams on 8 June 1963, a twin to Desmond and one of seven children. After she completed her studies at UWC, she worked at SASET, an organisation that raised funds, initially for political prisoners and later for students at mainly black universities throughout the country. Shortly after the unbanning of political organisations, she found employment at the University of the Western Cape. where she assisted many students.

As her family explained in a statement:

Dorothy grew up in a full and lively family and household, not only with her six siblings, but also with cousins - and later with UWC students who were in need of board and lodging. She grew up in a house filled with debates, literature, politics, jazz, card games, chess competitions and other social events.

Students and friends knew they could always rely on her to say, even in the most desperate situations, ‘I’ll see what I can do’. And that is exactly what she would do; she would try her very best to assist. And until a few years ago, some of us would still receive calls for Dottie’s details when some or other old friend was struggling to raise money for someone at the University.

Dorothy, our sister, comrade and friend, you truly kept the home fires burning. May you go in peace; you will be sorely missed by all who knew you.

Hamba kahle, sister! Go well.

She leaves behind her siblings Michael, Desmond and Josephine, as well as Nevillene, her late brother Neville’s daughter, and Nevillene’s daughter, Nirvana.

Dottie’s funeral service will take place at 11am on Friday, 1 February 2019, at the Bellville Catholic Church, Eendrag Street, Bellville South.

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