Reunion roundup

Reunions held in 2012: Class of 2002 reunion

16 - 18 November 2012

By: Phutiane Alwyn Rapatsa


Helga Abrahamse (Pillay), Steven Afonso, David Anderson, Jennie Arthur, Armid Azadeh-Ghamsari, Brigid Brennan, Nicky Brice, Amy Burdzik, Ishaaq Datay (then Isak Cassiem), Renee De Waal, Sipho Dlamini, Graeme Dunbar, Clare Floweday, Robert Gill, Cathy Hanauer, Murray Heyns, Nicky Kalk, Relebohile Kose, Grant Laing, Wendy Lewis, Harsha Lochan, Sehlapelo Madihlaba, Tumiso Malatji, William Mapham, Kgomotso Masoga (Zukani), Priscilla Mateta Silwana, Portia Matjekane (Mashigo), Jayavani Moodley, Nadia Nair, Candice Nelson, Irene Ngobeni, Jessica Paul, Zara Quail, Pearl Quvane (Mjoli), Marcus Rademeyer, Bosele Ramantsi, Alwyn Rapatsa, Alan Rogers, Lynn Rosenberg, Astrid Sadler, Moahlodi Seitshiro, Joanna Skelton, Reghana Taliep, Linda Tangayi, Kerry Timmerman, Bongumusa Tsela, Leon Varkel, Marisse Venter, Tamara Wagenheim, Thandi Wessels.


We gathered at the Wolfson Pavilion at the Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine Building on the evening of 16 November 2012. This is a new building for us as it did not exist during our undergraduate days. Here we had the pleasure of networking with one another over drinks and snacks. UCT memorabilia was on sale. This memorabilia reflected the 100 years of the existence of the Faculty. We were joined by Professors Janet Seggie, Arderne Forder, Deon Knobel and Dr Aziz Aboo. Unfortunately Prof Ed Immelman, that committed teacher from the Division of General Surgery, could not join us due to ill-health and, sadly, he has subsequently passed away. The deputy dean, Professor Gonda Perez, welcomed us. During her speech she announced that some twenty senior members of the academic staff were going to retire at the end of 2012. One of these is Professor Seggie who had just accepted an appointment as editor-in-chief of the South African Medical Journal. Professor Seggie and the other academics addressed the group. They all shared words of wisdom. Dr Aboo urged us to save sufficiently for retirement rather than spend money on expensive motor cars and luxuries. I would like to reiterate this piece of advice.


We had two activities on the Saturday. The morning session was a walking tour of the Bo-Kaap. The evening session was a formal dinner held in the Smuts Hall dining room on Upper Campus. A good number of classmates arrived for the walking tour of the Bo-Kaap on a sunny day. We were led by a knowledgeable tour guide who explained to us the history behind all the buildings and roads in the area. It was a fascinating and educational tour as we got to learn a lot about the people of Cape Town - the past events which have shaped the present and the future of this city and South Africa as a whole. At around 13h00 we had lunch at the Biesmiellah restaurant, in the Bo-Kaap, where we were served local dishes.

In the evening, we assembled at Smuts Hall at around 19h00 for the formal dinner, the main event of this special weekend. Before the commencement of the dinner, a class photograph was taken in the courtyard at Smuts Hall. Soon after the photograph session we watched a forty-minute video on the centenary of the UCT Faculty of Health Sciences. Many people, events and places connected with the Faculty were featured in this video including a 101 year old UCT doctor. For me this senior medical alumnus was the highlight of the video. Unfortunately, our keynote speaker, Professor Timothy Noakes of the UCT Sports Science Institute, did not arrive. I was hoping that we could ask him questions about his latest dietary recommendations in view of the high levels of obesity throughout the world. I must say I was happy that all classmates generally looked in good shape. Whatever you are doing to keep fit and healthy is obviously paying dividends!

We had a delicious three course meal. As Professor Noakes was not available, we modified the programme and, before we knew it, it was 23h00 and we had still not eaten the dessert! Sipho Dlamini started by proposing a toast to our beloved country after which Alan Rogers proposed a toast to UCT and the South African College. This was followed by a special item by Zara which was similar to her performance with Will Mapham at our final year dinner in 2002. We then invited our two Rhodes scholars, Ishaaq Datay (then Isak Cassiem) and Nicky Kalk to share experiences with us on their Rhodes scholarship years at Oxford University. Thereafter we asked those amongst us who work or have worked abroad to share their experiences - Jayavani Moodley (USA) and Armid Azadeh (Indonesia, USA, and now Namibia). We also asked colleagues from different parts of southern Africa to share experiences - Irene Ngobeni (Limpopo), Pearl Quvane (KwaZulu-Natal), Nate Tsela (Mpumalanga), Moahloli Seitshiro (Free State), Relebohile Kose (the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho), Zara Quail (Northern Cape), Bosele Ramantsi (North West), Will Mapham (Swaziland and Eastern Cape) and Dave Anderson (Eastern Cape). These activities kept us busy for the whole evening.

At the end of the evening, I urged the class to continue to make, or start making, a financial contribution to UCT and the Faculty of Health Sciences to ensure a brighter future for the next generation of students. For further information contact the Alumni Office on +27 (0)21 4066 6686 or via the internet (UCT Faculty of Health Sciences website:


A handful of us made the time to meet in the morning on the lawns of Kistenbosch Gardens for a picnic - Armid Azadeh, Ishaaq Datay, Marcus Rademeyer, Grant Laing and their families, Alwyn Rapatsa, Rob Gill and Cathy Hanauer. The weather was perfect. We sat on the lawns under a tree near a stream and engaged with one another until we parted ways at 13h00.

It was a joyful reunion! Let us do this again! The Alumni office at the Faculty of Health Sciences under the leadership of Joan Tuff did an excellent job in assisting us to organise the reunion. We are grateful to Joan and her team for their assistance and look forward to working with them again in organising future Reunions. I realise that Joan Tuff will have retired by the time we hold our next Reunion. Thank you for everything, Joan - enjoy your retirement.