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Professor Russel Botman

Professor Russel Botman (Condolences From UWC Convocation)

Convocation is saddened to learn of the untimely death of our much-loved alumnus, Professor Russel Botman, Rector of the University of Stellenbosch. Russel Botman obtained his BA, MA, and Doctorate at UWC, and was a religious activist during the turbulent 1980s. He was detained without trial in Victor Verster jail during the 1985 State of Emergency.

In 1982 he was called as a Dominee to the Wynberg congregation of what is today the Uniting Reform Church. Botman joined Stellenbosch University as Professor of Theology in 2000, was appointed as Vice-Rector in 2002, and as Rector from 2006 until his passing. His diplomacy and gentle manner were crucial in coaxing Stellenbosch University - a deeply conservative campus and culture - along the path of transformation and diversity. He similarly negotiated a balanced path through the language politics at SU.

UWC Convocation extends sincere condolences to Professor Botman's widow and four children, and to all his loved ones and former colleagues at both UWC and SU.