The directors of Media24 mourned the passing of its chairman, Professor Jakes Gerwel, on Wednesday, 28 November 2012, following a short illness. He served the group from 2007, when he took over the reins from Ton Vosloo, current chairman of Naspers. Gerwel also served on Naspers's board of directors and chaired Welkom Yizani, Media24's black empowerment partner, since its inception in 2006.
Media24 CEO Esmaré Weideman said: "Prof was not only a wonderful chairman, but also a true mentor. His quiet yet incisive leadership and insight into the media - and Media24 in particular - grounded us all. The first thing he always asked me, in our regular chats, was 'And how are the people?' He really loved this company. We have lost a father figure. Our thoughts are with his wife Phoebe and his family."
Fellow directors on the Media24 board added their thoughts. Ruda Landman: "End of an era, of someone who made a difference during this crucial period in our country." Prof Rachel Jafta: "We'll miss his dignified presence in so many aspects of our lives."
Prof Gerwel made a valuable contribution to the group and will be sorely missed by the board and all employees of Media24.