Valerie Mary Hunt (1927 - 2012)

Val Hunt was a member of Black Sash in Port Elizabeth for many years and a courageous and passionate supporter of Human Rights movements during the Apartheid era. She was a "doer", and never content to take a back seat or play a merely critical role of the Nationalist Government regime when there was work to be done.

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Desirée Berman (d. 2012)

Black Sash member Desirée Berman has died in London. She passed away on 15 January 2012.  Desirée was one of the very early members of the Black Sash, and served as the editor of the magazine from December 1958 to December 1961. 

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Joy Roberts (1926 - 2011)

Joy Roberts, a stalwart of the Natal Midlands Black Sash, and Secretary of the branch for many years died on Christmas day in Durban at the age of 85. She will be greatly missed by many. As well as her involvement in the Black Sash she was Chairperson of the Edendale Welfare Society for 30 years.

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Dorothy 'Dot' Cleminshaw 1922 - 2011

Tenacious human rights activist and extraordinary human being Dorothy 'Dot' Cleminshaw passed away peacefully in Cape Town on Sunday, the 18th of December after a long illness. She was 89 years old. Her children, Martin and Karen, were with her when she died and they say that she looked more at peace than they could ever recall seeing her in life.

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John Neer (d. 2011)

Our dear colleague, John Neer, passed away tragically and unexpectedly after a short illness in Port Elizabeth on Monday, 21 November 2011.  John was well-loved and admired for his enduring commitment to work for justice; and his warm and courageous heart for supporting those who suffer. We are all united in our grief and our memories of his incredible spirit. John will not be forgotten.

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Christina Scott (1961 - 2011)

Top science journalist and former Black Sash member Christina Scott has been killed after she was run over by a car while giving a colleague a driving lesson. The tragic accident happened in Cape Town on Monday, 31 October 2011. She leaves behind three children, Ally, 12, Ben, 9, and her adoptive daughter Nosipho.

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Margaret Nash (d. 2011)

“We are for Peace and Human Dignity” are the words on a poster pictured on the front cover of a booklet edited by Margaret Nash, the 1985 annual conference report of the South African Council of churches. Indeed those words reflect the goals towards which she strove all her life. This remarkable Capetonian has passed away quietly in St. Luke’s hospice, after a long illness, patiently and bravely borne.

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Joan Hemson (d. 2010)

Joan Hemson - mother of Gille de Vlieg, David, Crispin and Jonathan Hemson, wife of the late Rex Hemson, and fearless fighter for justice - died on the 24th September 2010 at the age of 96. She was a leading member of the Black Sash and National Council of Women.

A celebration of her life was held on Sunday 17th October at 3.00 p.m. at the Botanic Gardens Visitors Centre, in Durban.

A tribute from Black Sash Trustee Di Oliver: May her soul rest in peace.  Her years of dedicated work in the Hillcrest Advice Office are a monument to her.

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Lettie Malindi (d. 2010)

Mrs Malindi, who worked in the Black Sash Advice Office in Cape Town for 28 years, passed away on Sunday, the 27th of June 2010 after suffering a stroke. She was 89. Lettie worked in the Advice Office from the very beginning in 1958, and took credit for teaching Eulalie Stott and Noel Robb (and probably many others) all about the pass laws. 

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Ethel and Alex Walt (d. 2010)

Ethel Walt, a long-time national leader of the Black Sash, has died in Johannesburg on 3 June 2010, after a car accident about two weeks ago. She was a dedicated and hard-working member of the organisation, and one of the founding trustees of its Advice Office Trust in 1985.  She was closely involved in its advice office work, and an energetic and successful fund-raiser.  Most notable of all her achievements was her work against forced removals of whole communities under apartheid legislation, and in the founding of the Transvaal Rural Action Committee (TRAC).

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Sheena Duncan (d. 2010)

Black Sash patron and veteran human rights activist Sheena Duncan died peacefully in her sleep at her home in Johannesburg on Tuesday, the 4th of May 2010. She was 77 and leaves behind two daughters and two grandchildren.

Sheena was well-loved and admired for her enduring commitment to work for justice; her unshaken faith in peaceful ways of doing so; and her warm and courageous heart for supporting those who suffer. We are all united in our grief and our memories of her incredible spirit and great humour. She will not be forgotten.

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Eulalie Stott (d. 2010)

Eulalie Stott, Black Sash anti-apartheid activist and champion of housing for the poor, has died at her home in Claremont at the age of 87. 
A founder member of the Liberal Party and of the Black Sash, she became a leading campaigner for the abolition of the pass laws and an outspoken, fearless opponent of the apartheid tyranny.

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Rita Edwards (d. 2009)

The Black Sash has received the news of Rita’s passing with great sadness. She has, over the years, worked in various ways with the Black Sash, and in particular the Cape Town Regional Office which worked with her closely. She was a real stalwart in fighting for the rights of 'Women on Farms' and a true activist for the empowerment of women. Her commitment to women’s rights has been described as infectious, and in this way her spirit will live on through all those whom she inspired.

Our condolences and deepest sympathy go to her son and all those who loved her.

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Jean Bernadt (d. 2010)


A woman who was perhaps the last of South Africa's great white anti-apartheid struggle icons has died. Jean Bernadt passed away peacefully on April 9, aged 96, at her home in Kenilworth, Cape Town. Jean was widowed just over four years ago in December 2007. Her husband was Himan Bernadt, a leading civil rights lawyer who founded the firm that is now Bernadt, Vukic, Potash & Getz.

Read the full trribute published in the Cape Times.

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Noel Robb (d. 2009)

The Black Sash has lost one of its founding members and most dedicated workers, the director of its first Advice Office, established in Cape Town in 1958, and a member of its governing regional council for almost 40 years. In March 1989, we elected her as honorary life Vice President, in tribute to her long history of leadership and service to the organization. 

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Jessie Middelmann (d. 2008)

Black Sash trustee, Di Oliver, pays tribute to former Sash stalwart Jessie Middelmann. Jessie sadly passed away on the 5th of October 2008 shortly after her 90th birthday.

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Mavis Orpen (d. 2008)

Mary Burton, Black Sash Trustee, pays tribute to Mavis Orpen. Mavis was a long standing member of the Black Sash. She passed away on Friday morning, 13 June 2008, a few months before her hundredth birthday.

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