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Trailblazing South African Neurosurgeon’s Legacy Celebrated Nationally and Internationally

  • Distinguished Career and Contributions: The article highlights Professor Mochichi Samuel Mokgokong's remarkable career in the medical field, focusing on his leadership in separating conjoined twins and mentoring over 20 neurosurgeons. His pivotal roles in prestigious institutions underscore his significant contributions to South African medical education and practice.
  • Commitment to Transformation and Activism: Minister Nzimande emphasizes Mokgokong's commitment to research excellence and visionary leadership, resulting in numerous national and international awards. The late professor's dedication to transforming the medical field is evident through his role as an activist academic, advocating for increased representation of young black individuals in medicine.
  • National Loss and Call to Uphold Legacy: The passing of Professor Mokgokong is described as an incalculable loss to South Africa's post-school education and training sector. Minister Nzimande urges the nation to uphold Mokgokong's legacy by continuing the pursuit of research excellence and visionary leadership. The article concludes with condolences to the late professor's family, friends, and colleagues, emphasizing the collective responsibility to honor and carry forward his impactful contributions.
Professor Mochichi Samuel Mokgokong,

In a heartfelt tribute, Higher Education, Science, and Innovation Minister, Dr. Blade Nzimande, commemorates the life and achievements of the late Professor Mochichi Samuel Mokgokong, lauding him as one of South Africa’s most distinguished academics and scholars. The nation, alongside the academic community, mourns the loss of this revered figure who recently succumbed to cancer.

Professor Mokgokong, renowned for leading groundbreaking efforts in the separation of craniopagus conjoined twins, leaves behind a legacy of mentorship, having trained over 20 neurosurgeons during his illustrious career. Minister Nzimande underlines Mokgokong’s extensive and distinguished academic journey in the medical field, where he played a pivotal role in pioneering surgical teams.

Among the noteworthy positions held by Mokgokong, he served as Professor Emeritus at the University of Pretoria, headed the Adult Intensive Care and High Care Units at Tembisa Hospital, and held the esteemed positions of Professor, Chief Specialist, and Head of the Neurosurgery Department at the University of Pretoria’s Steve Biko Academic Hospital.

Paying homage to South Africa’s first black neurosurgeon, Minister Nzimande emphasizes that Mokgokong’s commitment to research excellence and outstanding academic leadership earned him numerous national and international awards. Beyond his professional accomplishments, Mokgokong fervently embraced the role of an activist academic, actively encouraging young black individuals to pursue careers in the medical field.

The passing of Professor Mokgokong is deeply felt in the post-school education and training sector, constituting an irreplaceable loss. Minister Nzimande asserts that upholding Mokgokong’s legacy of research excellence and visionary leadership is an obligation that the nation must honor.

As a testament to Mokgokong’s impact, his commitment to transformation in the medical field resonates strongly. Minister Nzimande reflects on the late professor’s dedication to encouraging diversity within the medical profession, ensuring that aspiring black professionals find a welcoming path to contribute to the field.

In expressing condolences on behalf of the department, Minister Nzimande extends heartfelt sympathies to Professor Mokgokong’s family, friends, and colleagues. The void left by his passing reverberates not only within the academic community but across the nation, where his contributions have left an indelible mark on the landscape of South African higher education and medical research.

In the wake of this loss, the challenge for South Africa’s education sector is to carry forward Professor Mokgokong’s torch of excellence. As the nation mourns, it also celebrates the life and achievements of a true visionary who dedicated his life to advancing medical education, leaving an enduring legacy for generations to come.

This story serves as an inspiration to current and future scholars, emphasizing the importance of commitment, leadership, and inclusivity in propelling the nation’s higher education and medical fields to greater heights. Professor Mochichi Samuel Mokgokong’s legacy is a beacon of hope and a call to action for all South Africans, urging them to continue the pursuit of excellence in education, science, and innovation.



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