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20 September 2023
UWC pays tribute to Professor Henry 'Jatti' Bredekamp
It is with immense sadness that the University of the Western Cape (UWC) has learnt of the passing of Professor Henry ‘Jatti’ Bredekamp. Prof Bredekamp was a leading scholar at our University and was the former Director of the Institute for Historical Research at UWC.

Over the years, after leaving UWC, Prof Bredekamp took on leadership roles of great magnitude, including as CEO of the Iziko Museums of Cape Town and President of the South African National Committee of ICOM (International Council of Museums). He also served as the Interim CEO of Robben Island Museum.
Prof Bredekamp (image courtesy Iziko Museums)

Prof Bredekamp was born at the Genadendal Mission Station and began his career as a farm school teacher near Leeu Gamka in the Great Karoo, according to his storied biography. He later joined UWC, where he would work for the next 27 years in a tumultuous time in the university’s history. He held two master's degrees in History, obtained as a Fulbright scholar from the Wesleyan University in the United States, and then UWC. In 1976, he was appointed Lecturer-Researcher at UWC's Institute for Historical Research. In 1992, he was appointed Associate Professor and, in 1995, Director of the Institute [which later became the Centre for Humanities Research]. 

Prof Bredekamp published extensively on historical issues. He was an authority on Khoisan identity as well as the memory of slavery and human rights.

A giant tree of the UWC community has fallen. We will remember Prof Bredekamp for his unflinching commitment to educating a cohort of students at UWC who have gone on to leave their own legacy in the history of our country.

The University will release details of memorials and funeral service as it becomes available. Our prayers and sincere condolences are with the friends, colleagues and family of Prof Bredekamp.