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MAIL & GUARDIAN: Opinion

‘He warned, where others remained silent’

Paul Spiegel, who fled the Nazis as a child during World War II and returned to Germany to eventually become the influential -- and at times contentious -- head of its main Jewish organisation, has died. He was 68. Spiegel died overnight of cancer in a hospital in Duesseldorf where he had been seriously ill for weeks.

French academic had long and varied career

French philosopher, journalist, writer and academic Jean-Francois Revel, who died in hospital near Paris on Saturday night, was a brilliant nonconformist and bête noire of the French left. Revel, whose real name was Ricard, began his long and varied career as a teacher of philosophy in Tlemcen, Algeria.

‘Father of SA schools rugby’ dies at 83

A former chairperson of South African Schools rugby and the founder of Craven Week, Jan Preuyt, died on Thursday evening at the age of 83 in the Eastern Cape town of Cathcart. Preuyt, a well-known school rugby administrator, was South African Schools chairperson for 19 years, and a friend of the late Danie Craven.

Wally Hayward ‘was cherished as an icon’

Veteran marathon runner Wally Hayward has died at the age of 97, the Comrades Marathon Association said on Friday. Hayward's athletic career spanned a period of 60 years, during which he competed and excelled at distances from 100m to 100 miles, the association said in a statement.

Dancing with ghosts

'I believe the children are the future." That's how the George Benson song goes; clearly he (and Whitney Houston after him) were not averse to stating the obvious. Nor, it seems are South Africa's talk-show optimists, ever in search of a formula to soothe the cracked skin of national consciousness.

Black consciousness co-founder dies

One of the co-founders of the Black Consciousness Movement, Strini Moodley, died at the age of 60 on Thursday morning after a brief illness, his family said in a statement. Moodley was convicted on terrorism charges in 1976 following the marathon South African Student Organisation and Black People's Convention trial in 1976

‘His story is record-breaking and astounding’

Darwin N Davis, who was among the first United States blacks to hold a top corporate position, has died. He was 74. Last year, Davis was named one of ''the bravest generation'' by Fortune magazine for being among the first black executives to fight their way to the top of corporate America.

Hero fighter pilot dies in New Zealand

John ''Johnny'' Checketts, a World War II fighter pilot who crippled at least 14 enemy planes and twice survived being shot down, died last week at his New Zealand home, a newspaper reported on Monday. He was 94. Checketts died in the southern city of Christchurch on Friday.

Italy loses one of its ‘most beautiful faces’

Italian actress Alida Valli, who featured in films by Alfred Hitchcock and Luchino Visconti, died in Rome on Saturday at the age of 84, Ansa news agency said. She made her cinema debut at the age of 15 and appeared in more than 100 films, including Hitchcock's The Paradine Case (1947).

Aviation pioneer dies in plane crash

Famed test pilot and aviation pioneer Scott Crossfield, the first man to travel at twice the speed of sound, died when his plane crashed in the American state of Georgia, the Civil Air Patrol said on Thursday. He was 84. Crossfield was flying from the southern state of Alabama to Virginia when his Cessna disappeared from radar.

Struggle veteran dies in Soweto

Life-long champion of women's rights Nnoseng Ellen Kate Kuzwayo died at the age of 92 in Soweto in the early hours of Wednesday after a long illness. Her son Bobo said Kuzwayo, who was until June 1999 South Africa's longest-serving parliamentarian, died in the Lesedi private clinic at 2.30am.

Deep Space Network inventor dies

Eberhardt Rechtin, an engineer who played a key role in the development of space technology during the Cold War, has died. He was 80. Rechtin died on Friday at Torrance Memorial Hospital in California after lengthy battles with several illnesses, his family said in a statement.

SA catches ETF bug

Recently two new Satrix exchange-traded funds (ETFs) listed on the JSE, giving investors further low-cost opportunities to invest in South African companies. This brings to five the number of Satrix funds available to investors and the number of ETFs listed on the JSE to nine.

A host of new talk

So it's farewell to the Vuyo Mbuli Show on SAfm. I was about to start tearing the roof off my car at the sheer numbing mediocrity of Vuyo's show when the integrity of my personal means of transport was saved by the news that Vuyo would shortly be off the air, and replaced by Xolani Gwala.

Telling it like it’s not

I have not yet seen the film <i>Tsotsi</i>, but last week I read my page-mate John Matshikiza's strong reservations about the adaptation of the 1950s novella on which the film is based. Director Gavin Hood modernised the story, setting it in a contemporary South Africa. Matshikiza says much of the drama and authenticity have thus been disowned.

Musical managers

So Cape Town city manager Wallace Mqoqi has been fired. Though the Mother City's new mayor, Helen Zille, may disguise her rationale in the techno-speak of contract law, she wants her own manager in place. And preferably one who talks DA. Zille fired Mqoqi because he toyi-toyi'd with the then ruling African National Congress ahead of the election.

The day the laughter died

Peter Robinson, who was arguably South Africa's leading cricket writer and was certainly the most entertaining, died in Johannesburg late on Tuesday night. Robinson, who wrote a popular cricket column in the Mail & Guardian, was diagnosed with cancer of the lung in October last year and underwent surgery. He made a rapid recovery and for months it appeared he had won the battle.

Jazz drummer Don Alias kept tempo for the best

Drummer Don Alias, who kept tempo for Miles Davis, Nina Simone and Lou Reed, has died in New York aged 66, his website said on Wednesday. In a nearly 50-year career, Alias showed his versatility on drums and other percussion instruments, accompanying headliners such as Carlos Santana, Al Jarreau and Herbie Hancock.

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