MUT management pays tribute to late Dwarika

Professor Marcus Ramogale, second from right, consoles the Dwarika family. On the right is Dr Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education, Training, who also visited the family to assure them that his department was with them in this hard time. Dr Nzimande called Dwarika a ‘patriot’ of his country

Addressing family, friends, and supporters at the funeral of Shan Dwarika, on 7 June 2023, the Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University, and the Acting Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Professor Babatunde Bakare, defined Shan Dwarika as a man that made a big impact upon both the students and staff over the almost three decades he spent at the University. Professor Marcus Ramogale defined Dwarika as a soldier who empowered his students so that their families could “put food on their tables because you played a role in educating their children”. Professor Ramogale said Dwarika had made contributions on a much bigger scale, and this affected the national economy. He said Dwarika, together with his colleagues, trained and mentored students who are now making an impact in both the private and public sectors such as Sifiso Mdakane who is now a Director General in the Public Works Department; Dorothy Mofomme, a CEO of Valotech 228; and Ray Cele, the Co-Owner of Grinaker LTA. “There are many high-powered founders of electrical companies that came through your teaching,” Professor Ramogale told the bereaved that the University was still expecting a lot from Dwarika, especially at the time when the whole world is looking at professionals like him to provide solutions to energy-related problems. Dwarika had qualifications in Electrical Engineering and had taught at the University for 26 years. Professor Ramogale said the University graduates between 180 and 200 electrical engineering students every year. The footprint of Dwarika is among those numbers, Professor Ramogale said. Professor Ramogale added that for the next three years, the University would still have students that have been affected by Dwarika’s lecturing efforts. But sadly, Dwarika will not be around to give a shout-out to their academic achievements, Professor Ramogale said.

Professor Bakare said Dwarika was a “genuinely warm individual” who was a “dedicated and passionate lecturer who inspired many of our students in the past 26 years at Mangosuthu University of Technology.”

Dwarika’s passing was felt by MUT partners overseas. Professor Ramogale shared a message he received from Dr Terry Hofecker, Chief Executive Officer, Demeter, Ohio, USA. Dr Hofecker said that after reading Dwarika’s obituary, he realized that Dwarika was using his education and industry experience to “give a path forward to young people in the fields of digital and communication technology. The world has been cheated by this senseless act of violence. We stand with MUT in your time of grief and loss”.

Dwarika was reported missing and was unfortunately found deceased last week. Two men linked to his death have appeared in court and were denied bail.

Also attending Dwarika’s funeral were other members of management and staff, and the retired MUT Registrar, Mike Naidoo and Professor Chandra Jinabhai, dean in the Faculty of Management Sciences. Messages of condolences are still flowing from MUT partners in Atlanta, Sinclair College, Ohio, and Florida: Tallahassee.