RIP Leading Historian and Author Prof Bernard Magubane
Magubane was born in 1930 on a farm near Colenso in Natal, but moved with his family to the city of Durban.
In Bernard Magubane: My Life and Times, an autobiography written to coincide with his 80th birthday, Magubane relates how as a child he was radicalised by the conditions apartheid imposed on the majority of the country’s people. He became a teacher and rubbed shoulders with many of the country’s great educationists, his passion for learning leading him on to the University of Natal and eventually to the United States of America, in 1961, for postgraduate studies in the social sciences.
As a critical thinker, Magubane was schooled by eminent scholars within the liberal-pluralist paradigm, but he migrated towards an understanding of South African and African history and sociology through Marxism, a journey that shaped him as a leading African intellectual.
Magubane became closely involved with various members of the African National Congress in exile, including Oliver Tambo, and he played a vital role in the anti-apartheid struggle in the United States and beyond.
Magubane and his wife moved back to South Africa after 1994 and he was appointed head of the Democracy Education Trust.
President Jacob Zuma sent his condolences to the mourning family, hoping that “his soul may rest in peace”.
The country has lost one of its best historians and an outstanding academic with the death of Prof Bernard Magubane, President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday.
“I would like to convey our deepest words of condolence to his family, his friends and the academic community at large. May his soul rest in peace,” said Zuma.
In the SABC’s obituary they mention that Magubane was honoured by former president Nelson Mandela in 1999 for his contributions to social science.
President Jacob Zuma has expressed his deepest condolences to the family and friends of Professor Bernard Magubane, who passed away at his home in Johannesburg on Friday. The cause of death remains unknown.
University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, publishers of his autobiography, tweeted condolences to his family:
Hamba kahle Ben Magubane. It is with great sadness that we heard of his passing. A highly regarded author and… fb.me/JjbD8A88
— UKZN Press (@UKZNPress) April 15, 2013
Other tweets about the late academic’s passing:
Bernard Magubane RIP was one of a few black anthropologists in a still very white academic discipline in and about South Africa
— Africa is a Country (@AfricasaCountry) April 14, 2013
Rest in Peace Professor Bernard #Magubane. Your contribution to the intellectual discourse in the Movement was humble, yet so profound.
— Floyd Shivambu (@FloydShivambu) April 14, 2013
- Bernard Magubane: My Life and Times by Bernard Magubane
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