Professor Johan Dempers during an interview with the Cape Argus. Picture: Henk Kruger / ANA
Professor Johan Dempers during an interview with the Cape Argus. Picture: Henk Kruger / ANA

Covid-19 claims highly regarded Professor Johan Dempers

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Jan 28, 2021

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Cape Town - The Western Cape’s Forensic Pathology Services’ (FPS) Professor Johan Dempers succumbed to Covid-219 on Tuesday, it was announced on Wednesday.

“Professor Johan Dempers’ passing has left a huge void, both from an academic and service delivery perspective. Colleagues are and will be struggling to come to terms with his untimely passing. He was part of the Forensic Pathology Service executive team and no meeting will be the same again,” FPS director Vonita Thompson said..

“We will remember Professor Johan Dempers as a fierce forensic pathologist, discipline specific, honest and loyal to our profession, with the utmost integrity, an enthusiastic teacher and a consummate professional,” says Professor Lorna Martin, head of Clinical Department Forensic Medicine & Toxicology, University of Cape Town (UCT).

After obtaining his MBCHB in 1994 and completing his internship at Livingstone Hospital, Dempers joined the Western Cape Health Department as a medical officer in 1996. He pursued forensic medicine early in his career and after a short sojourn he rejoined as a medical officer within the Department of Forensic Pathology; University of Stellenbosch.

Dempers obtained his qualification as a forensic pathologist in 2002 and continued as a consultant and senior consultant, head of clinical unit from October 2006.

He led the Division of Forensic Pathology at the University of Stellenbosch, first in an acting capacity and then permanently from February 2017. He straddled both academic and service delivery demands - he loved what he did. He enjoyed teaching, but also contributed widely to research and including acknowledgment for his contribution in research to Sudden Unexpected Deaths (PASS study) in Infants in collaboration with Harvard University, Boston. He was a long standing councillor and examiner for the College of Forensic Pathologists of SA.

Cape Argus

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