The Central University of Technology (CUT) has expressed shock and sadness at the passing of former registrar, Dr Metsu Gift Vinger, who died in a car accident last week.
In a statement, CUT spokesperson Dan Maritz said the passing of Vinger, 52, was a great loss to the university and the country’s academic community at large.
“The CUT community has learnt with shock about the untimely passing of Dr Metsu Gift Vinger,” read part of the statement.
Vinger was involved in a car accident on Sunday. His passing, according to Maritz, comes hardly a month after the burial of his younger brother, Donald.
At the time of his passing, Vinger was responsible for developing and implementing Change Management Programme at Fort Hare.
Maritz said Vinger was involved in the education sector for more than three decades as a student, lecturer and shrewd administrator with a wealth of experience in areas of governance, policy, compliance, legal services, student judicial matters and academic administration.
“Throughout his university studies, he distinguished himself among his peers as a hard-working and dedicated person,” said the statement.
Vinger obtained his BA and BA Honours degrees cum laude at the former Vista University and the University of the Free State (UFS) respectively.
During his BA and UED studies he received numerous awards, including best first-year male student on campus and best final-year degree student at the University, accompanied by the Chancellor’s Gold Medal Award.
Vinger began his career at the then Vista University (now CUT Welkom Campus) in 1989 as a lecturer and progressed through the ranks. He later won a scholarship to complete an MA degree at the Pennsylvania State University in the USA in 1993. He then obtained an MBA degree from the former Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education in 2002.
He was awarded his DPhil from the University of Johannesburg in 2005 to mark his pinnacle of scholarship.
“Ironically, this was just the beginning of his academic journey which expanded his research work and participation in national and international conferences where he delivered papers- most notable being conferences at Montego Bay, Chicago and Barcelona,” according to the statement.
Vinger published articles in accredited journals and had reviewed a number of papers for an international journal and was accordingly credited as an Associate Editor. He also occupied leadership roles in various professional organisations related to higher education and served in various statutory structures such as Senate and Council.
In addition to his distinguished academic credentials, Vinger contributed significantly to the university as CUT Registrar and Secretary to Council from 2007 and served in these positions until 2012.
He continued his career as Registrar at the University of Zululand in 2013 until 2015 when he returned to the Free State as Registrar at the University of the Free State.
“Gift (Vinger) was a gallant son of the Free State with deep roots in the province, but also Higher Education in South Africa. He is survived by his wife, Mathabo, his two sons; Tsepang Leepile (Molepana) and Reatlehile Moditle and young brother, Kefuoe (Sasa),” said the statement.
His funeral service will be held at the CRC Church on November 16.