Dear colleagues and students
It is with heavy hearts that we inform you of the passing of our colleague, Mr Ashley Rustin (55). Mr Rustin, who served the University of Cape Town (UCT) as senior technical specialist in the Information and Communication Technology Services (ICTS) department, passed away on the evening of Friday, 24 November 2023. He had been hospitalised after suffering a stroke during the early hours of Thursday, 23 November.
Mr Rustin joined UCT in 1999 and has been part of the institution for over two decades. Beyond his usual duties, Mr Rustin made a meaningful impact on several other structures at the university. These include the UCT Employees Union (UCTEU), which he joined in 2016 and had been serving as an executive member. He was also part of the university’s Institutional Forum (IF), where he served as co-chair at the time of passing.
Colleagues at departmental level described him as a long-standing member of the ICTS staff who was held in high regard and who had particularly distinguished himself in the Microsoft environment and the support offered for eResearch. He will be remembered by many in the department as the “go to” senior technical specialist and a loyal colleague who was always willing to impart wisdom and advice.
The UCTEU colleagues recalled that since joining the union, Mr Rustin emerged as an ardent advocate for workers' rights at UCT. His tireless efforts and commitment to the workers’ cause have been invaluable in the fight for numerous benefits that have significantly improved the working conditions for workers. One of his significant contributions was as the champion of the group funeral benefit cover that has now been implemented by the university. Mr Rustin’s comrades in the UCTEU say his foresight and dedication ensured that they had a safety net during challenging times, reflecting his genuine concern for the wellbeing of union members.
At IF level, Mr Rustin will be remembered for his leadership, diplomacy and wisdom. He is said to have been ever present, always available to meet, discuss, reflect and most importantly, protect the collective consultation and advisory role of the IF. The absence of his leadership, chuckle, and humour that punctuated the IF meetings will be dearly missed.
Mr Rustin is survived by his wife Sherrol, son Shelton, and brother Haddon.
His funeral service will take place on Saturday, 2 December 2023 at the Uniting Reformed Church, corner of Johannes and Doreen streets, Valhalla Park. A memorial service will be held on Monday, 4 December 2023 at Baxter Hall, UCT Lower Campus, at 12:30.
The university has reached out to offer support to the Rustin 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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