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Tue May 26 03:40:33 SAST 2015

Magubane's death a loss: Zuma

Sapa | 14 April, 2013 14:06
Professor Bernard Magubane at his home in Fourways, Johannesburg.
Image by: PETER MOGAKI / Sowetan

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.

An author and anthropologist, Magubane died at his home in Fourways on Friday, at the age of 83, his family said on Sunday.

He was born in Estcourt, KwaZulu-Natal, studied at the then University of Natal, and received his PhD in anthropology from the University of California, in Los Angeles.

Family friend Herbert Vilakazi said Magubane taught anthropology at the University of Connecticut for many years. "He gained fame in world anthropology circles as a participant in the liberation struggle within the world of scholarship, fighting against the racist conceptualisation of the African in established Western social sciences," said Vilakazi

Magubane published many scholarly articles and books on this topic, including his major book The Political Economy of Race and Class in South Africa, Vilakazi said.

He was also an African National Congress activist, who at one time worked in Zambia and lived with former ANC president Oliver Tambo.

He and his wife returned to South Africa after 1994, and he was appointed head of the Democracy Education Trust.

He is survived by his wife, four daughters, and grandchildren.

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