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Wits mourns the passing of Professor Ivor Sarakinsky

- Wits University

Sarakinsky was a political philosopher, passionate about public governance and the green economy.

Professor Ivor Sarakinsky, Wits School of Governance

The University of the Witwatersrand mourns the passing of Ivor Sarakinsky, an Associate Professor in the Wits School of Governance (WSG), who passed away on Friday, 17 September 2021 due to health issues. He spent 15 years at Wits, serving in numerous committees, and most recently as the Academic Director of the School.

A political philosopher who taught public governance and the green economy, Professor Sarakinsky always prioritised his students, and those who were taught or supervised by him found him to be inspiring, thought-provoking and patient. He had a wealth of public sector experience, having formerly served as the national Chief Director for the Green Economy in the Economic Development Department. He has also engaged in numerous consulting projects ranging from helping develop the governance assessment methodology for NEPAD’s African Peer Review Mechanism, to working with municipalities on their green economy strategies and implementation processes.

Professor Sarakinsky published in top-rated international and national scholarly journals but also frequently appeared in the media. He often wrote opinion pieces on different aspects of governance, public policy and ethics. His candour, sharp commentary and wit, was greatly appreciated, and he was often called upon to moderate academic and public events, volunteering his time and expertise to advance the public good.

Aside from his academic accolades, Professor Sarakinsky was a supportive and passionate person who was always available to lend a helping hand. His passing is a monumental loss and Wits extends its deep sympathies to Professor Sarakinsky’s colleagues, students, family, friends, and those who knew him well.

The School will be hosting an online memorial service at 11:00 on 23 September 2021 to celebrate his life. You can join via this link: