Prof Gita Ramjee died on Tuesday from COVID-19-related complications. Photo supplied.
Date: 01 April 2020 By: Anton van Zyl
One of the first victims of the coronavirus, Prof Gita Ramjee, has several family links to Louis Trichardt. Her husband, Praveen Ramjee, was born here and grew up in the town.
Prof Ramjee, from Westville, died on Tuesday in the Umhlanga Hospital from COVID-19-related complications. She recently travelled to London where she visited her two sons, who live there.
Prof Ramjee was a very influential and highly decorated South African scientist. At the time of her death, she was the chief scientific officer at the Aurum Institute and a former chief specialist scientist and director of the HIV Prevention Research Unit of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC).
She was married to Praveen Ramjee, a pharmacist from Durban. He is the youngest son of the late Mr Kalan Ramjee from Louis Trichardt, who owned Ramjee Store (presently Khoja's Fabrics). The two other sons, Kishore and Tribhovan Ramjee,live in Durban.
Her younger sister, Rita, married Bhadrish Kalan, who previously lived in Louis Trichardt. The Kalan and Ramjee families are two of the pioneer trading families from the region.
Anton van Zyl has been with the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror since 1990. He graduated from the Rand Afrikaans University (now University of Johannesburg) and obtained a BA Communications degree. He is a founder member of the Association of Independent Publishers.