Kader Asmal was born in Stanger KwaZulu Natal in 1934. During the apartheid years, he obtained a Diploma in Education at Springfield College of Education, and Bachelor of Law degree from the London School of Economics.
He went on to obtain Masters degrees in Arts and Law, and served as a Barrister in both London’s Lincoln’s Inn and King’s Inn in Dublin.
He was a Lecturer in Law at Trinity College in Dublin, where he held the position of Dean of Arts from 1980 – 1986, .
On return to South Africa, he was Professor of Human Rights Law at the University of the Western Cape, and admitted as an Advocate of the Supreme Court from 1994. In the new South African government he held Ministerial positions of Water Affairs and Forestry, and of Education.
He was awarded numerous honorary degrees and fellowships from universities: of Dublin Univeristy, the University of Ireland, and Queens University Belfast in Ireland, in England from the University of London, and the London School of Economics,and in South Africa from the University of Cape Town, Rhodes University, the Central University of Technology in the Free State, and the University of the Western Cape.
He was the author of numerous publications including an UNESCO publication on sustainable education, and was the holder of many prestigious international awards for education and his human rights work.
He served on the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Cultural Diversity, Paris France.
A South African educator and human rights advocate of note, of whom we can all be proud. Our condolences are extended to his family.