Rest in Peace: Ronnie Govender (1934 – 2021)

09 Jun 2021

It was with enormous sorrow that the board of PEN South Africa learned of the passing of South African activist, playwright and author, Ronnie Govender on the 29th April 2021. Throughout the Apartheid era, Ronnie Govender campaigned tirelessly for racial equality, often at great personal and professional cost to himself. His plays  ‘The Lahnee’s Pleasure’,  and “At the Edge”  are among South Africa’s longest running, most celebrated works- their popularity testament to the power and beauty of his writing and his detailed rendering of the lived experiences of the South African Indian community.

Mr Govender’s principled stance on art and politics serve as a model- we are privileged to have lived at the same time as him. We send sincere condolences to Ronnie’s family and loved ones at what must be a most distressing time, a time when words can seem superfluous. We can only commit ourselves to carry on Ronnie’s legacy with the same grace and fortitude that he displayed while he was here with us.


The Board of PEN South Africa