Matie Voices

Prof AH van Wyk

SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor 1993–2001

Born on 17 September 1941 in Pretoria, Prof Andreas Hercules (AH) van Wyk matriculated from Helpmekaar College with seven distinctions. In addition, he obtained his graduate and postgraduate degrees cum laude from Stellenbosch University and the University of Bonn in Germany before being promoted to doctor juris at Leiden University in the Netherlands (also cum laude) in 1976.

Described as a ‘details man’ who was also an avid swimmer, historian, linguist, as well as 18th and 19th-century classical music enthusiast, Van Wyk first joined SU in 1966 as a lecturer in private and commercial law. Outside of the classroom, his contributions to publications such as Die Suid-Afrikaanse Kontraktereg en Handelsreg have helped lay the foundation for an entire generation of local lawyers, company law lecturers, and potential new students to the field. In addition, doctoral students supervised by him can today be found across all of South Africa’s legal spheres and institutions.

After being appointed dean of the Faculty of Law in 1983, Van Wyk served on various committees at the University until his appointment as vice-rector of operations in 1991. This was followed by his appointment as rector and vice-chancellor in 1993, which was the beginning of a period that would emerge to be very significant socially and politically for both the University and the country.

Important matters close to Van Wyk’s heart during his term as rector, which ended in 2001, include maintaining customary academic and other standards, retaining Afrikaans as an academic language, as well as campaigning for the rights of minority groups to be able to preserve that which is important to them.