John Kane-Berman (1946-2022) – an outstanding South African

28 July 2022 - With great sadness, the Institute of Race Relations announces the death after a short illness of John Kane-Berman, former CEO of the Institute, and a long-standing pillar of South African liberalism. He was 76.

With great sadness, the Institute of Race Relations announces the death after a short illness of John Kane-Berman, former CEO of the Institute, and a long-standing pillar of South African liberalism. He was 76.

Kane-Berman was born in Johannesburg in 1946. He was educated at St John’s College, the University of the Witwatersrand and at Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

In a remarkable career beginning in journalism in the 1960s, he chronicled the harsh realities of South African society.

An incisive analyst, gifted writer and skilled manager, he became the Institute’s CEO in 1983, remaining in that position until 2014. Where many peer organisations failed to survive the transition to democracy, he steered the Institute to a renewed relevance.

His work was always informed by an unshakeable commitment to freedom. This was the golden thread that ran through his work both before 1994 and after. He presciently identified threats to the country’s democracy when this was unfashionable, and much of what he warned about has now become common cause.

His death robs South Africa’s intellectual life of one of its most insightful, courageous and respected participants. He will in particular be greatly missed by his colleagues and former colleagues at the Institute.

IRR CEO John Endres said Kane-Berman left a “profound legacy”, having been “a fearless proponent of liberalism before, during and after South Africa’s democratic transition”.

Endres added that Kane-Berman’s “brave and unstinting commitment to the liberal cause inspired legions of South African liberals, myself included”.

John Kane-Berman is survived by his partner Pierre Roestorf, and by his extended family.
 

 
Media contact: John Endres, IRR CEO – john.endres@irr.org.za
(Please also contact Susi Eusman at ceo@sairr.org.za
Media enquiries: Michael Morris – 066 302 1968; michael@irr.org.za

© 2020 South African Institute of Race Relations
CMS Website by Juizi

Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | PAIA Manual | Accuracy Guarantee | Sponsors & Donors

m