Statement on the passing of Professor Phillip Tobias
7 June 2012
On behalf of our Founder, the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees and the staff of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, we send our deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the late Professor Phillip Tobias.
An iconic scientist and an anti-apartheid activist in his own right, Professor Tobias was a great supporter of the work of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory and regularly attended our events.
President Nelson Mandela awarded him the rarely-given Order of the Southern Cross in 1999.
In 1997 he inscribed a copy of his autobiography Into the Past to Nelson Mandela and wrote: “A little autobiographical token on the occasion of your 89th birthday! With my felicitations and blessings and best wishes for strength and tolerable health in your 90th year and with my profound admiration. – Phillip V Tobias, (your fellow 'old-boy of Olivedale’) – 18th July 1997”
His passing is an enormous loss for South Africa and the world of palaeoanthropology.