Statement on the Passing Of Prof Bernard [Ben] Magubane
The Mapungubwe Institute and the entire MISTRA network of researchers are deeply saddened by the sudden death of one the most outstanding sons of our country, Prof Bernard Makhosezwe Magubane. We extend our sincere condolences to the family of Prof Magubane.
Prof Magubane has had an illustrious career as an academic – historian, sociologist and researcher of international repute – over more than four decades; a career that included practical and active involvement in the struggle against apartheid.
As an inaugural Fellow of the Mapungubwe Institute, Prof Magubane was instrumental in the development of MISTRA’s research agenda. He participated actively in the project team on the Evolution of the South African State, questioning methodologies, critiquing presentations and generally challenging approaches that sought to underplay the role of class and gender in defining the character of any state.
Prof Magubane’s classic published historical studies masterfully demonstrated how racism contributed to the construction of the social and political economies of colonialism and Empire. As supervisor, researcher and editor of the remarkable, pioneering South African Democracy Education Trust series, his work will serve generations of scholars for many years to come.’
Long after his departure, his piercing mind and honesty in discourse will continue to inspire researchers and activists in our country and further afield, proceeding from the premise of his example that a worthy life is one that contributes to the improvement of the human condition the world over.
The MISTRA community will miss his insights on a range of themes upon which his prolific mind was unleashed with ease. Indeed, when history books are written, the name of Prof Magubane will undoubtedly shine in the firmament of towering African men and women of letters.
May his soul rest in peace.
Hamba Kahle Nkomose!
Issued on behalf of
Prof Sibusiso Vil-Nkomo, Chairperson of the Board of Governors
and Joel Netshitenzhe, Executive Director of the Mapungubwe Institute