It is with a profound sadness that the University of Johannesburg (UJ) has learnt of the passing of Vassi Naidoo, an honorary Professor of Practice in its Department of Accountancy. Vassi who was also the chairman of Nedbank Group, died on the morning of 28 September 2021.
Vassi, as Naidoo was affectionally known, was an immensely talented and accomplished professional with a commensurate work ethic, who greatly contributed to the positioning of UJ as a leading institution of higher learning.
“Vassi’s death is a great loss to the University, the country and the entire African continent, particularly as it comes at this important juncture in our country when we are crying for skilled professionals and leaders across various economic sectors. He was a consummate professional who embodied all the attributes of a great leader, and we are left deeply bereft by his passing,” said Professor Tshilidzi Marwala, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Johannesburg.
Vassi held several executive and non-executive positions in various entities, including serving as a member of the Nedbank Group Directors’ Affairs Committee and the Group Related-party Transactions Committee, as well as the chairman of Nedbank Group Limited, Nedbank Limited and the WWF Nedbank Green Trust.
He was Chief Executive of Deloitte Southern Africa from 1998 to 2006, a member of the Deloitte UK executive from 2006 to 2009 and a member of the Deloitte Global executive from 2007 to 2011, and thereafter Vice-chair of Deloitte UK from 2009 to 2014. An illustrious and dynamic professional through and through, Vassi was also a member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants, with honorary lifetime membership granted in 2011 for his contribution to the development of the profession in SA. Furthermore, he was a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
Vassi is survived by his wife Sheila, daughter Carmeni, and his extended family. UJ wishes to extend its sincere condolences to his family, friends and those he had an impact on. Rest in peace, Vassi.