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CUT Mourns The Loss of Its First Vice-Chancellor



CUT Mourns The Loss of Its First Vice-Chancellor

CUT Mourns The Loss of Its First Vice-Chancellor. The Central University of Technology (CUT) community is deeply saddened by the passing of its first Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Japie van Lill, who passed away at the age of 84. His passing comes just three weeks after the burial of his wife, Joan, aged 81.

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A Visionary Academic Leader

Prof. Van Lill was a highly respected academic known for his vision and dedication to academia. He played a key role in the establishment of CUT in the early ’80s, shaping it into a technical institution housed in temporary buildings.

A Legacy of Excellence

As CUT inaugural Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Van Lill championed the concept of “Science in Practice,” a principle that remains central to CUT’s programs. He served as Vice-Chancellor from 1981 until his retirement in 1996, leaving behind a legacy of excellence and innovation.

Condolences From The Current Leadership

In a statement, Prof. Henk de Jager, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of CUT, expressed his condolences, describing Prof. Van Lill passing as a loss not only to his family but also to the entire CUT community and the province. Prof. de Jager praised Prof. Van Lill’s professionalism, friendliness, and continuous passion for CUT, highlighting his role as a pioneer and remarkable leader in South African higher education.

Honoring a Pioneering Leader

To honor Prof. Van Lill contributions, CUT has named its Senate Chamber after him, ensuring that his legacy and impact on the university endure. The CUT community extends its sympathies to Prof. Van Lill’s sons, Daneel and Riaan, as well as his friends and former colleagues, during this time of mourning.

A Lasting Legacy

Prof. Japie van Lill legacy as a pioneering leader in higher education and his dedication to the growth and development of CUT will be remembered and cherished by all who had the privilege of knowing him. May his soul rest in eternal peace.


The passing of Prof. Japie van Lill leaves a void in academia and the CUT community, but his legacy of visionary leadership and dedication to excellence will endure for generations.

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