Leon Kritzinger: 1930–2016

12 December 2016
Professor Leon Kritzinger
Professor Leon Kritzinger

08 February 1930 – 12 December 2016

Professor Leon Kritzinger, a former Head of the Department of Accounting and Dean of the Faculty of Commerce at the University of Cape Town, passed away on Monday, 12 December. He was 86 years old.

Prof Kritzinger qualified as a chartered accountant in 1951, and began his academic career at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). It was at Wits that he wrote The Principles and Practice of Auditing (initially with Ian Taylor and later with George Puttick), the first book on auditing in South Africa, which became the definitive work on the topic.

He was appointed as Professor of Accounting at the then University of Port Elizabeth (now Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University) in 1965 and in 1969 he joined UCT as Professor of Accounting.

Prof Kritzinger’s contribution to accounting education in South Africa was monumental. He was instrumental in moving the accounting profession to the graduate profession that it is today, from part-time studies to full-time studies, and in introducing Honours degrees in Taxation and Accounting.

He served as Head of the Department of Accounting at UCT for 18 years, and thereafter as Dean of the Faculty of Commerce until his retirement in 1996.

It was his intervention in the 1970s that led to the first Black African chartered accountants qualifying in the country, through UCT. Prof Kritzinger founded the SA Society of University Teachers of Accounting which is now the Southern African Accounting Association.

He was active on numerous committees within the accounting profession and at UCT. Among others, he served as Warden of Smuts Hall and managed the finances of the Students' Health and Welfare Centres Organisation.

He leaves behind his wife, Pat, four children and several grandchildren.

According to Associate Professor Goolam Modack, the Acting Head of the College of Accounting, Prof Kritzinger will be remembered for the man he was – larger than life, amazingly adept at achieving his objectives, often in the teeth of opposition, and with a delightful sense of humour, at his best over a glass of red wine.

He mentored and encouraged countless chartered accountants. He will be greatly missed and long remembered.

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