The University of Johannesburg (UJ) joins the rest of South Africa, the continent and the world in mourning the death of Dr Essop Pahad: freedom fighter, anti-apartheid stalwart, former government minister, essayist, and intellectual. Dr Pahad, who died this morning at the age of 84, had in recent years been an Honorary Scholar and Board Member of the Centre for Africa-China Studies (CACS), UJ’s research Institute focusing on China’s relations with Africa. He was also a committed member of the Concerned African Forum (CAF), and worked closely with the South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChi) Chair for African Diplomacy and Foreign Policy and the Centre for African Diplomacy and Leadership (CADL).
Says UJ Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Letlhokwa Mpedi: “The University of Johannesburg community send their love and deepest condolences to the family of Dr Pahad. He was a fearless revolutionary, a man with a formidable and intimidating intellect who, together with the comrades of his generation, were unwavering in their principles and values: non-racialism; non-sexism, anti-imperialism and equality. They were willing to pay the ultimate price for the liberation.”
Earlier in 2008, after he stopped serving as an active member of Cabinet, Dr Pahad started a Pan-African quarterly magazine called The Thinker, which publishes peer reviewed articles with well-constructed opinion pieces.
“We are proud that UJ is now the publishers and owners of the Peer Reviewed Magazine, The Thinker, and Dr Pahad had no hesitation to approach UJ during the negotiations,” said Prof Mpedi, adding that the university could always call and count on Dr Pahad to participate in seminars and debates.
Prof Mpedi said in the next few weeks, the Centre of Africa-China Studies will be publishing the Memoirs of Dr Pahad, and his life’s work of close to 500 pages. “We wish his family strength and courage during this difficult time, and may his soul rest in eternal peace.”