• Apr 23 2013

    Prof Edmund Zingu Passes On

    Message received from Prof Simon Connell - SAIP President

    Dear SAIP Membership

    It is with a deep sense of sadness that I inform you of the passing of
    Prof Edmund Zingu, in the early hours of Saturday morning the 20th of

    Edmund served on Council in the eight year period from 1999 to 2006,
    and was President of the SAIP Council from 2003 to 2004. In fact,
    Edmund was the first black SAIP Council President in the history of
    the SAIP. He played crucial leadership roles in many projects, more
    recently particularly in physics related development issues. He was
    Vice President of the IUPAP, and chair of C13 Commission of Physics
    for Development. He was primarily responsible for bringing to SA the
    iconic 'Physics for Sustainable Development' conference in 2005 as a
    part of the International Year of Physics. This cast a distinct
    spotlight on physics as an instrument for development in Africa. I
    would like to specifically mention his tremendous contribution to two
    very important projects of the Institute. The first was the very
    successful Shaping the Future of Physics Project, where he contributed
    to the design of the project and also served as chair of the
    Management and Policy Committee which oversaw the international review
    in 2003. Physics in SA has grown significantly since then largely
    because of the implementation of many of the recommendations from the
    Review. The second was the Review of Undergraduate Physics Education.
    Once again he contributed to the design of the Review and chaired the
    Management and Policy Committee. He lead the development of the SA
    Draft Benchmark Statement for Physics Training, and guided the Review
    process, including the partnership with the Council for Higher
    Education. The Review of Physics Training is well advanced but still
    in progress. Edmund began his Physics career at UWC, he had a period
    of employment at Turfloop, QwaQwa Campus, then as Head of the Physics
    Department and later Dean of Basic Sciences (1990-1993) at MEDUNSA, he
    later returned to UWC and served as Head of the Physics Department
    (1994-1998) there, and finally Vice Rector of Mangosuthu University of
    Technology in Umlazi, Durban until the time of his retirement. His
    leadership and contributions were characterized by sensitivity,
    perceptiveness, vision, ethics, wisdom, global standards and great
    Edmund was a pioneer for physics in post-apartheid South Africa, a
    visionary, a tireless campaigner for strengthening the discipline of
    physics* and, above all, a true gentleman. He will be sorely missed.
    The funeral service will be on Saturday 27th April. Further details
    will be available later. We extend our deepest condolences to his
    (See "Promoting Physics and Development in Africa" by E. Zingu,
    Physics Today Vol 57 (1) Jan 2004, pp 37)

    Simon Connell

    President - SAIP Council
    (with thanks to Nithaya Chetty for contributions to this message)