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5 November 2018
The Legacy of Jakes Gerwel Celebrated

(Published - 5 November 2018)

The Jakes Gerwel Foundation and the University of the Western Cape (UWC) will host a commemorative event on 10 November at the Centre for Humanities Research in Woodstock, to celebrate the legacy of the late anti-apartheid activist. Professor Gerwel was a humble leader, academic and businessman, and served as the rector and vice-chancellor of UWC. He was also the director general in the cabinet of former President, Nelson Mandela.

Professor Gerwel’s life will be celebrated in a variety of creative ways on the day.

“Jakes Gerwel was an exceptional person who excelled in so many ways. It is with his passion and support of the arts, his open approach to discourse and his vision of embracing different opinions and cultures in mind, that the Foundation designed a celebrative happening that truly reflects and honours Gerwel’s legacy,” said Theo Kemp, executive director of the Jakes Gerwel Foundation.

The programme will kick off with exceptional music by Reza Khorta, Luis Gimenez and Valmont Layne. This, while visual artist, Dhatini Mzayiya, will complete a special portrait of Professor Gerwel.

Film students from UWC - with the guidance of the filmmaker, Francois Verster – are set to showcase their documentary work on the life and work of Professor Gerwel.

Another item to look forward to is an exhibition of special images of the late icon by well-known photographer, Rashid Lombard.

A panel discussion will follow. On the agenda are important issues facing the country, including the interpretation of history in order to understand land reform and the way forward. This will be discussed by historian and writer, Bill Nasson, Andries du Toit from UWC’s PLAAS (Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies) and Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, the author of The Land is Ours and member of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s land reform advisory panel.

Hein Willemse, Imraan Coovadia and Mercy Kannemeyer, with Melanie Verwoerd as the discussant, will talk about the role and responsibility of the intellectual in the current social and political context of South Africa. They will, among other things, compare today’s intellectuals to the leaders of the past.

Two lectures will be delivered: Political and social activist, Jay Naidoo, will talk about the ethics of privilege and how we should live in a country with so much poverty, while the internationally acclaimed author, Achmat Dangor, will deliver the Jakes Gerwel Memorial Lecture with the theme, “Imagining Post-Apartheid Futures.”

Learners from Grassy Park High School and Weltevrede Secondary School in Wellington - who are part of the Jakes Gerwel Foundation’s narrative therapy project, Yoh! - will recite poetry, and rap.

The detailed programme is available or