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Department of African Languages

Honorary Doctorate awarded to Professor PS Groenewald

By Faculty of Humanities/Fakulteit Geesteswetenskappe

Posted on 23 April 2012

Prof PS Groenewald with Prof HF Stander, Acting Dean of the Faculty of Humanities on his left and Prof LW Nkuhlu, Chancellor of the University of Pretoria, on his right
Prof PS Groenewald with Prof HF Stander, Acting Dean of the Faculty of Humanities on his left and Prof LW Nkuhlu, Chancellor of the University of Pretoria, on his right

On Wednesday 12 April, the University awarded an honorary doctorate to Professor Pieter Groenewald, former Head of the Department of African Languages.

Professor Groenewald served on various HSRC committees and also acted as an examiner of applications for study bursaries and awards for attending congresses overseas. From 1973 to 1976, he acted as an advisor for radio and TV (Sotho Service) at the SABC and also acted as an adjudicator of radio and TV programmes (Sotho Service). JL van Schaik and the JMB also used Professor Groenewald's services as an advisor. He has been a member of the Sepedi Language Board since 1976 and also serves on various committees of the Board.

Since 1989, Professor Groenewald has been the Vice-Chairman of the Sepedi Language Board and a member of the general management. He also became the first Chief Editor of the South African Journal of African Languages, and during his term as editor, the journal was accepted as an accredited journal by the Bureau for Scientific Publications. Professor Groenewald served on the advisory panel of the Encyclopedia of World Literature in the 20th Century (New York) and also wrote the overview of the development of Sepedi literature.

Professor Groenewald often served as an examiner of undergraduate and postgraduate work for various universities. Numerous students have obtained their master’s degrees and doctorates under his guidance. His translation of OK Metsepe's Megokgo ya Bjoko into Afrikaans was published in 1988. He has published a great number of articles concerning language and literature, and his four monographs on Sepedi literature were published during the nineties. Professor Groenewald received the Stals Prize (African Languages) of the South African Academy for Science and Art in 1996.


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