The University of Cape Town (UCT) is deeply saddened by the death of retired Doctor Neville Alexander, acclaimed linguist, academic and anti-apartheid struggle veteran, following a battle with cancer.
"Neville Alexander was an opinion maker all his life," said Gerda Kruger, executive director of communications and marketing at UCT. "As such he contributed richly not only to dialogues at UCT, but also to South Africa in its formative years as a new democracy. Doctor Alexander has a rich and lengthy association with UCT as student, lecturer, professor and friend. The university mourns the loss of this remarkable life, which stands as a role model for all. We extend our sincere condolences to his family." Involvement in Khanya College
Dr Alexander, best known for his role in the struggle for a democratic and non-racial South Africa as well as his scholarly achievements, established the Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa (PRAESA) in 1992 at UCT.
He worked as the Western Cape director of the South African Committee for Higher Education (SACHED) for six years from 1980, which led to the establishment of a leading alternative higher education initiative called Khanya College. He subsequently established the National Language Project (NLP) and then PRAESA. SACHED provided Dr Alexander with the opportunity for exploring the concept of alternative education.Books and articles
Dr Alexander's intellectual output is marked by a series of influential books and articles. Among the most seminal are One Azania, One Nation, written under the pseudonym No Sizwe, which presents a view of the distribution of power and privilege in terms of class, caste and colour. Sow the Wind
, written in 1986, was influential in the analysis and politics around the uprising in the country. An Ordinary Country,
published in 2002, sought to reflect on the politics of South Africa's transition to democracy.
Dr Alexander excelled as a UCT student in German and History, graduating with a BA in 1955 and a Master of Arts in 1957. He completed his PhD in 1961 at the University of Tübingen in Germany with a dissertation on style change in the dramatic work of Gerhart Hauptmann. He also completed a BA (Hons) degree in History by correspondence in 1971 during his imprisonment on Robben Island.