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A son's tribute to Jakes Gerwel: My pa is 'n Afrikaan

Hein Gerwel

Jakes Gerwel's son Hein pays tribute to his father, the veteran academic and political activist, who died in the early hours of Wednesday, aged 66.

Professor Jakes Gerwel. (David Harrison, M&G)

My pa is 'n Afrikaan.

My pa is an African.

Hy het ons almal gevra, as lede van die "globale gemeenskap" om in vrede met mekaar te lewe.  

He asked all of us, as members of a global community, to live in peace with one another.

Hy was 'n Suid Afrikaanse held en het sy lewe gegee vir die regte waarvoor ons geveg het en vasgelê het in ons Grondwet.

He was a South African hero and gave his life for the rights we fought for and which are entrenched in our Constitution.

Hy was gerespekteer deur almal, selfs sy vyande – waarvan hy min gehad het.

He was respected by all, even his enemies – of whom there were few.

Hy was 'n private mens, gee asseblief sy nabye familie die geleentheid om in stilte te ween vir "die Jakes van Kommadagga".

He was a private person, please allow his close family the opportunity to mourn in quiet for "the Jakes of Kommadagga".

Liefde vir my ma en gebede vir haar is wat ons nodig het, nie besoeke en huldeblyke nie.

Love to my mom and prayers for her is what we need, not visits and tributes.

Ek ken my pa, en hy sal sy rit na die "laaste kuil van stilte" met waardigheid wou betree; gun hom asseblief sy blaaskans nou in die ewigheid.

I know my pa, and he would have wanted to approach his journey to the "last well of silence" with dignity; please grant him his breathing space in eternity.

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