Our colleague, mr Gideon Rossouw, lecturer at the North-West University’s Mahikeng Campus passed away during the evening of 1 July 2021. Our condolences go to his family, colleagues and friends. He will be sorely missed.
A colleague from the Law Faculty wrote:
"For me the news was quite unexpected. I knew that he was in hospital with Covid as we regularly communicated. Gideon’s way was to be wonderfully passionate about things, sometimes even dramatic.
Gideon was not only my colleague at the Faculty, but a friend. We taught some modules together, he in Mafikeng, I in Potchefstroom. He also became a friend over the years.
What do I know about Gideon?
He came from a very “verligte” Afrikaaner background at a time when that was almost a crime in this country. When still at school, he spent a certain period of time in Germany as an exchange student. During this time, he absorbed so much culture, German language skills, and “Bildung” that I was always surprised at how much a person could learn and mature in such a short period of time as a teen.
The two of us would usually speak German when we met. He was very witty indeed and regularly entertained me with his subtle “British” or (acquired) German humour on whatsapp: jokes about Germans, about art, about politics – and above all, about academics and universities.
He was perhaps the only academic I knew in South Africa that was not only brilliant in his field, but who also knew everything about classical music, art, theatre, philosophy, cooking, etc. On many occasions, especially during lockdown, we would exchange links to radio stations or concert houses broadcasting or streaming from Germany, the U.S., and other parts of the world.
Gideon was privileged to still have received a classical liberal university education at the University of Cape Town. When he taught my students as a guest lecturer, he would read from a printed 1970s edition of Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations.” And, the students loved it! He passionately resented the way universities in South Africa and elsewhere in the world “developed” over the last 20 years or so. He resented the neoliberal framework within which universities operate nowadays, in which universities have become publication and graduation factories, in which university “teachers” have been demoted to the rank of “staff” (working on a conveyer belt), in which critical thinking has succumbed to instruction directed at achieving the “market readiness” of students. He felt that there had never been more talk about the “ethic of care” in universities, but that that has never been as absent as it is today. For that reason, Gideon often felt a bit lost and lonely in the “modern” university.
Gideon fully enjoyed it, this existence. He loved good food, good wine, good Whiskey, cigars, fast cars, dogs, cats, flowers, gardens, art, music, good conversation – and above all, he loved life! I shall miss him. We all shall miss him.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family during this very difficult time.
This is indeed a great loss to our Faculty and University.
Dr Neo Morei the Executive Dean of Faculty of Law wrote:
We are deeply shocked and saddened by the sudden death of Mr Gideon Rossouw, our friend and colleague. Mr Gideon Rossouw joined the Faculty of law on 8 May 1995 at the University of North West as a lecturer. He was subsequently promoted to a position of a senior lecturer, the position he held until his passing. Gideon had a sharp and brilliant mind. As such, he contributed immensely to teaching and learning, research and community outreach agenda of the Faculty. He generously gave us his knowledge, his expertise and his skills. He worked with passion, integrity and energy in developing our students. By his death, all the people who knew him will miss a highly intelligent, vibrant individual. Gideon was a genuinely warm individual, cheerful, had a gentle demeanour and pleasant to work with.
We will heavily bereave. Farewell.