Pretoria, 28 November 2012

Idasa commemorates the life of former Idasa Chairperson Professor Jakes Gerwel and extends its condolences to his wife Phoebe, his family and friends.

For almost a decade Jakes had a profound impact on our organisation when he served as Chairperson of the Board of Directors for two terms, both in terms of strategic direction and the wisdom and presence he brought to every event, interaction and meeting he participated in and lead. He was a leading political figure in his time and made a genuine and lasting impact on those he came into contact with.

Jakes was responsible for chairing the Board of Directors as Idasa made the transition from its founding Director, Dr Alex Boraine to Professor Wilmot James. His tenure included the development of Idasa as a post-apartheid institute monitoring the development of democracy in South Africa and assisting in state building, especially at local government level. He enabled the Institute to operate independently from the new ANC government while in critical solidarity with the social transformation of the country.

Jakes shall be sorely missed.
In commemorating his life we have included the Chairperson’s statement on civil society which Prof Gerwel wrote before stepping down as our chair. It remains relevant today.

For further information or commentary please contact Paul Graham on +27 (0)12 392 0501 or on
Or refer to the following obituaries:

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