Category Archives: Brief Biographies

Dr Ian Player remembered and more on 28 December 2014 in 50/50

Deep in the shadow of the Soutpansberg mountain range, the mysterious beauty of the lives of the mountain’s inhabitants has been unfolding here since the hills themselves can remember. People have been telling fire-side tales of prowling predators that lurk … Continue reading

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Leonora van den Heever, South Africa’s first woman judge

Leonora van den Heever, born in Windhoek on 9 July 1926, holds the esteemed position of being the first female judge to be appointed permanently to the appellate division of the South African Supreme Court in 1991.  She was the … Continue reading

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Judge Thokozile Matilda Masipa – as told by Zapiro

“Judge Thokozile Matilda Masipa is a quiet, stern 66-year-old black woman who has steadfastly avoided the limelight even as she rose from a poor township to the nation’s High Court. A former newspaper reporter, she was once arrested during a … Continue reading

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Mantsopa, sister to a king and a prophet in her own right

When I went to Bloemfontein, a stopover en route to Grahamstown for the National Arts Festival, I went to the Sand du Plessis Theatre to see Grandma’s Song.  It was here that I made one of the most interesting historical discoveries … Continue reading

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Sophia Williams de Bruyn, the youngest of the Women’s Day march leaders

Sophia Theresa Williams de Bruyn was born in 1938.  She is the youngest of the women who led the Women’s Day March on 9 August 1956.  She was just 18. Born in Port Elizabeth she became a union leader the … Continue reading

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Helen Joseph

Helen Joseph is the name of one of the big hospitals in Johannesburg.  It was named for Helen Beatrice Joseph née Fennell (8 April 1905 – 25 December 1992.  She is one of South Africa’s famous anti-apartheid activists. Born Helen Fennell … Continue reading

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Lillian Cingo

Lillian Cingo is one of those women identified by 21 Icons South Africa as one of South Africa’s extraordinary people.  A nurse by profession, a caregiver by calling, Lillian Cingo left Baragwanath Hospital to study as a neurosurgical nurse in … Continue reading

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