12 June 2018

South Africa: Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane Pays Tribute to the Late Prof. Tyobeka

press release

The Minister of Science and Technology, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, has paid tribute to Prof. Errol Tyobeka, a South African scientist who passed away on 7 June.

Born in 1953, Prof. Tyobeka was the first black candidate in South Africa to obtain an MSc and PhD in Biochemistry.

His extensive experience in research, academia and the public sector made him a valued member of the National Research Foundation (NRF) Board, which he served on from 2011.

Minister Kubayi-Ngubane said Prof. Tyobeka had distinguished himself in many fields. He received a number of prestigious scholarships from institutions such as the Ernest Oppenheimer Memorial Trust, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, the SA Institute of Race Relations and the Medical Research Council, and was awarded research grants from many organisations, including the National Cancer Association.

His work earned him various local and international awards and fellowships. He authored or co-authored 26 articles in peer-reviewed journals, as well as five book chapters.

He served on the executive of several South African universities, including as Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the Tshwane University of Technology from 2005 to 2010.

"His passing has left a vacuum in the sciences, but the knowledge he passed on as a lecturer and advisor will live on. His contribution to science speaks for itself," said the Minister.

The NRF will hold a memorial service for Prof. Tyobeka in the Chief Albert Luthuli Auditorium in the NRF Building at the South Gate of the CSIR (Scientia) Campus, Brummeria, Pretoria, on Wednesday, 13 June 2018, from 11:00 to 13:00.

Issued by: Department of Science and Technology

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