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CT to honour the late Gerwel

Cape Town motorists may soon be driving on a road named after the prominent activist.

Academic Professor and Chairperson of Media24, Jakes Gerwel, has died at the age of 66. Picture: Timeslive.co.za

CAPE TOWN - Friends of the late Professor and Chairperson of Media24 Gert Johannes (Jakes) Gerwel, say his family is overjoyed their hero's name might soon feature prominently in Cape Town.

Gerwel served as the director general in former president Nelson Mandela's office. He died last November after undergoing heart surgery.

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille has indicated the city may be renaming Vanguard Drive after the anti-apartheid activist.

Long-time friend and family spokesperson Shirley Levendal says, "Yesterday was the eighth month anniversary of the death of Jakes Gerwel. For them [family] it's just so wonderful that he's being recognised in this wonderful way."

In his early life he worked as a lecturer, as chancellor of Rhodes University, and later as rector of the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and Professor of Humanities.

UWC Vice Chancellor Brian O'Connell on Wednesday described the late Professor Jakes Gerwel as an inspiring teacher and an intellectual.

National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel has described Gerwel as a "big thinker" who had strong ethics and foundations.

The minister recalled the times he spent with the late Kader Asmal and Gerwel, while they were serving in the Mandela administration.

"For me, it was an amazing learning opportunity about the depth of the individual. [He was] completely belied by his external appearance, but he was a giant amongst us. His contribution will be recognised and sorely missed on an ongoing basis."

He passed away at the Netcare Hospital in Kuils River at the age of 66.

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