Nzimande pays tribute to Professor Mokgokong

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, has hailed the late Professor Mochichi Samuel Mokgokong, as one of our country’s most decorated academics and scholars.

Nzimande joined the nation and the academic fraternity in mourning the passing of Mokgokong, who passed away last week following a battle with cancer.
Mokgokong was well known for heading the team responsible for separations of craniopagus conjoined twins and has trained and mentored more than 20 neurosurgeons.

Nzimande highlighted that Mokgokong has a long and distinguished academic career in the medical field, which has seen him form part of some of the most pioneering surgical teams. 

Some of the positions Mokgokong held in his illustrious career include Professor Emeritus of the University of Pretoria, Head of Tembisa Hospital’s Adult Intensive Care and High Care Units; Professor, Chief Specialist, and Head of the Neurosurgery Department at the University of Pretoria’s Steve Biko Academic Hospital. 

Paying tribute to the life of South Africa's first black neurosurgeon, Nzimande said, owing to his commitment to research excellence and outstanding academic leadership, Mokgokong was honoured with a number of national and international awards. 

“As part of his commitment to transformation in the medical field, he also proudly assumed the role of an activist academic and never missed an opportunity to encourage young black people to enter the medical field. 

“The passing of Professor Mokgokong constitutes an incalculable loss to our post school education and training sector, and I believe we have an obligation to uphold his legacy of research excellence and visionary leadership,” Nzimande said. 

The Minister has, on behalf of the department conveyed his heartfelt condolences to Mokgokong’s family, friends, and colleagues. –