Prof. Gert Johannes Gerwel, distinguished academic and politician, was born in the district of Somerset East, Eastern Cape. He has occupied various prestigious positions at universities and served inter alia as rector and vice-chancellor of the University of the Western Cape, 1987-1994, and chancellor of Rhodes University since 1999. Gerwel has received numerous local and international awards, including the Order of the Southern Cross (Gold), awarded by President Nelson Mandela in 1999 and the Order of Good Deeds, presented by Colonel Muammar Qaddafi of Libya, also in 1999.
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