In Memorium: Thabang Makubire

It was inspiring to have been afforded an opportunity to work with Mr Thabang Makubire, a trained nuclear physicist and a knowledgeable historian, on the MISTRA research project on the Use and Displacement of Strategic Minerals (PGMs). Mr Makubire humbly shared his skills and know-how with MISTRA’s PGM project, and did so with passion, because he loved sharing the knowledge he had acquired.

His ability and willingness to share information made him a natural leader to the PGM project team. Mr Makubire was also an Inaugural MISTRA Fellow, chosen both because in recognition of his work on uranium (a strategic energy mineral in the country), and his understanding of the dynamics of the communities that live in the platinum belt. His insights as a trained scientist proved vital to MISTRA’s understanding of the “triple helix” relational challenges facing all the actors affected by mining: the mining houses, communities that live in proximity to mines, and the government.
MISTRA and the PGM project team, which he led, are shocked and saddened by his sudden passing. Not only does he leave a void amongst us as colleagues, but our country has lost an astute scientist. In a few months the accumulative strategic insights Mr Makubire provided to the PGM project will crystallise in a final research report. In this report the footprints of Mr Makubire’s intellect and strategic insights are obvious. This is the legacy he leaves. MISTRA next project will focus on energy, an area he was engaged in professionally at the time of his passing. Africa has lost a truly great son, scientist, and oral historian. MISTRA has lost a great colleague and intellectual contributor. May your soul find peace as your contribution to making our country and continent a better place is noted. Your legacy will be with us for always.