In remembrance: Mahalingum ‘Dhaya’ Govender

29 March 2022

Dear colleagues and students

It is with heavy hearts that we inform you of the passing of our student and former anti-apartheid activist, Mr Mahalingum ‘Dhaya’ Govender (61), on 27 February 2022.

He enrolled for his studies at UCT in 2020 and was studying towards an MSc degree in property studies. He was fondly known as Mr G in the property studies programme, which is a reflection of the respect that the class had for him. He has been described as a disciplined, hardworking and dedicated person, who was committed to the fight against apartheid government.

His research supervisor said: “With his unique smile and positive viewpoint, he regularly supported the needs of his cohort. We will remember his strong and thoughtful views on the role of the built environment in transforming South Africa. He believed that this required a greater role of all stakeholders in the sector.”

Mr Govender initiated his dissertation, which focused on an investigation into the procurement and management of properties for the state. The intention of this work was to provide a better understanding of the role that public sector property could play in reducing inequalities in South Africa.

He is survived by his wife Varnie, two sons and a daughter. His funeral was held on 3 March in Durban. A memorial service took place on 13 March.

The university has reached out to offer support to the Govender family and our sincere condolences go out to them and all who knew and loved him during this time of bereavement.


The UCT Executive

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