Jennifer Oppenheimer 'touched thousands of lives' - Times LIVE
Tue May 23 07:12:34 SAST 2017

Jennifer Oppenheimer 'touched thousands of lives'

Kyle Cowan and KGAUGELO MASWENENG | 2017-05-19 06:15:01.0
Jennifer & Jonathan Oppenheimer
Image by: Instagram/africabillionaires

Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer, wife of South Africa's billionaire mining scion Jonathan, died on Tuesday at the age of 50.

A short obituary notice was published in the press by the family yesterday which stated the mother of three died peacefully at their London home.

She is believed to have suffered a brain tumour.

Ward Oppenheimer, a Harvard-trained lawyer and Fulbright Scholar, was known for her African philanthropic efforts and was a joint founder of the Brenthurst Foundation, which brings together the world's leading thinkers and practitioners to promote the continent's economic growth and development.

She was involved in supporting the Centre for African Studies at her alma mater, Harvard University, from which she graduated magna cum laude.

To mark her 50th year, the family recently endowed a chair at Cambridge to teach Africa's deep history.

The obituary notice said there would be a private funeral service in the UK tomorrow, with details of a South African memorial service to be released later.

"The family thanks everyone for their support at this difficult time," it read.

De Beers said yesterday the company was mourning the tragic loss.

"Jennifer was a vibrant force for good and, as a former chairman of the De Beers Fund, she inspired us and touched the lives of thousands of people.

"The hearts of everyone at De Beers are with her adoring husband Jonathan and their beautiful children, Samuel, Isabel and Nathaniel."

"I remember her as a bubbly, vibrant and passionate person who was very involved in the work she wanted to contribute to the country," said Shelagh Gastrow, a founder and director of Gastrow Bloch Philanthropies and former executive director of Inyathelo, of which Ward Oppenheimer and her husband were generous donors.

Gastrow said Ward Oppenheimer was passionate about funding projects in "higher education, social development and entrepreneurship".


If you have an opinion you would like to share on this article, please send us an e-mail to the Times LIVE iLIVE team. In the mean time, click here to view the Times LIVE iLIVE section.