Family & friends pay tribute to Botman

The Stellenbosch University vice chancellor was honoured at a memorial service on Wednesday.

The Stellenbosch University vice chancellor was honoured at a memorial service on Wednesday. Picture: via Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - Relatives, friends and colleagues of the late professor Russel Botman have paid a moving tribute to him at a memorial service on Wednesday.

The Stellenbosch University rector and vice chancellor died in his sleep late last month.

His relatives said while he was an excellent academic known worldwide, he was a family man first.

They said his death came as a shock but believe he's smiling from where he is now.

Botman's brother-in-law said Botman lived a full life.

"He was very focus and that's the one thing I have learned from him. Be focused and know where you want to go and follow your dreams."

Botman was also hailed by students and staff as a visionary who played a key role in transforming the university over the past 10 years.

He was first appointed as rector in 2007 and was reappointed for a second five year term in 2012.

He was also a serving Director of Higher Education in South Africa, Senior Vice President of the Association of African Universities, Chairperson of the World Design Capital Cape Town 2014 Board and a director at Media24.

He was scheduled to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland next month.

He'll be buried on Saturday.