Pretoria – Veteran political economist and academic Professor Johannes “Sampie” Terreblanche, 84, passed away on Saturday afternoon following a brief battle with brain cancer.
His daughter, Christelle Terreblanche confirmed that Sampie, as he was affectionately known, passed away peacefully in his Stellenbosch home surrounded by family.
Terreblanche fell ill a year ago, shortly after his wife of 58 years, Ina Terreblanche passed away. He was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in September 2017.
He authored several books, including History of Inequality in South Africa, 1652 – 2002. He was also a professor of economics at Stellenbosch University. Christelle said to sum up her father simply as a ‘maverick’ intellectual would perhaps be unfair.
“His progression from an Afrikaner nationalist, to an advocate of its demise, to an ANC supporter, to a fierce critic of the ruling party was certainly spectacular and often dramatic,” said Christelle, on a website dedicated to her father.
“But each step in his fifty years as public intellectual and political economist was preceded by deep soul-searching and intense discussions with his close friends and family about how to best serve the common good.”
“Sampie may ultimately be remembered for his fearlessness in speaking truth to power, and a public intellectual who constantly reminded apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa of the injustice inherent in economic inequality.”
“It did not matter whether it was the apartheid government during the era of turbulent clashes under former presidents John Vorster and PW Botha or the ANC government, whom he accused of selling out its own marginalised constituency.”
He is survived by four daughters, Christelle, Marié Kirsten, Louise van Zyl and Carine Terreblanche, and a son, Sampie Terreblanche and five grandchildren.