A tribute to WWF trustee Professor Jakes Gerwel
Professor Jakes Gerwel, a former WWF Trustee, has died at age 66.
Professor Jakes Gerwel, one of South Africa’s great thought leaders, passed away on Wednesday, 28 November 2012 in Cape Town. Prof Gerwel was a distinguished academic and politician, serving as vice-chancellor of the University of the Western Cape from 1987 to 1994, where he made an enormous contribution in transforming the institution. Prof Gerwel joined the Office of the Presidency as then President Nelson Mandela’s right-hand man. In 1999 he chose to join Mandela in his post-presidential work, retiring from politics.
Prof Gerwel went on to oversee a number of Mandela’s philanthropic foundations and scholarship funds, and became the chancellor of Rhodes University in 1999. At the same time, he joined WWF as a Trustee, to advise WWF and play an ambassadorial role for the organisation.
Prof Gerwel was a down-to-earth man who, even after major successes in business, chose to live a modest life in his Belhar home.
WWF pays tribute to Prof Jakes Gerwel. His quiet wisdom will be greatly missed.