Graeme Bloch Picture: Supplied
Graeme Bloch Picture: Supplied

Education expert Graeme Bloch ’fearless fighter for justice and equality’

By Lisa Isaacs Time of article published Apr 12, 2021

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“A fearless fighter for justice and equality. Banned, detained, beaten by the apartheid government, but he fought on, often at great cost to himself.

Cape Town – South Africa is richer as a nation for Struggle activist and education expert Graeme Bloch’s intellectual and organisational leadership in the education sector, ushering the country towards adopting policies that opened the doors to millions of historically excluded citizens.

This was according to President Cyril Ramaphosa in paying tribute to Bloch, who died aged 65 on Friday, following a battle with illness.

Bloch was part of the formation of the End Conscription Campaign, later a member of the United Democratic Front (UDF), and was detained and arrested several times for his involvement in the democratic movement. He was banned from 1976 to 1981.

A graduate of the University of Cape Town (UCT), where he specialised in economic history, Bloch lectured at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) for several years, and was a ministerial appointment to the UWC Council between 2003 and 2006.

He was a project manager at the Joint Education Trust and an executive member of the UDF and National Education Crisis Committee (NECC) in the 1980s.

He was a Development Bank of Southern Africa education policy analyst, a member of the UCT Council, and visiting adjunct professor at the University of Witwatersrand Public and Development Management school. Bloch was also husband to ANC veteran Cheryl Carolus.

“We recall and honour with gratitude and admiration his contribution to our Struggle, from his early days as a passionate, long-haired student activist,” Ramaphosa said.

Bloch’s brother Lance described him as a humble, brave, humorous man in a post on social media.

“A fearless fighter for justice and equality. Banned, detained, beaten by the apartheid government, but he fought on, often at great cost to himself.

’’Stricken by a terrible neuro-degenerative disease which left him with a brilliant mind in a wasting body, but he accepted it and fought on. A South African hero,” he said.

The ANC said people would treasure Bloch’s memory as one who consciously chose to fight a cruel and inhumane system at a time when it was extremely dangerous to do so.

UWC’s rector and vice-chancellor, Professor Tyrone Pretorius, said: “Graeme was a passionate contributor to the debates and ideas on how to improve SA’s education system.”

Cape Times

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