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Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) wishes to extend its sincerest and heartfelt condolences to the family of the late Dr Simon Gqubule, who passed away in recent days.

Dr Gqubule was the recipient of the NMMU Council Prestige Award in 2012 for his dedication, sound work ethics and integrity, and for motivating others to strive for excellence.

He was born near Cookhouse in the Eastern Cape in 1928 and qualified as a teacher at the Healdtown Mission Station in 1949. He then attended the University College of Fort Hare where he obtained a bachelor’s degree.

In 1951, he entered the ministry in the Methodist Church of South Africa and was one of the pioneers of the Federal Theological Seminary, established in Alice in 1963. He continued his studies in Geneva, London and Edinburgh and was the first African student to qualify for a PhD degree at Rhodes University.

Dr Gqubule was a leader of the United Democratic Front; he was banned and restricted to the Pietermaritzburg magisterial district and placed under house arrest.

In 1990, he was a Visiting Lecturer at Wesley College in Bristol, England. He left the seminary at the end of 1991 after 31 years as a theological teacher, and became Superintendent Minister of the Mount Coke Circuit and then Bishop of the Queenstown District of the Methodist Church of South Africa.

In the later years of his life, he was involved in various educational projects, including the Masizakhe Educational Project with the late Dr Raymond Uren and also the llitha Lemfundo Educational Enhancement Project, which runs Saturday classes for Grade 10, 11 and 12 learners from several Uitenhage schools.

NMMU salutes an extraordinary life lived to the fullest, and in the service of South Africa.

Contact information
Mrs Debbie Derry
Deputy Director: Communication
Tel: 041 504 3057