Slide background
Slide background

Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

MEDIA STATEMENT on Prof Ramjee's passing

1 April 2020

ATT: Editors and Reporters

The Commissioners and staff of the South African Human Rights Commission are deeply saddened by the passing of Professor Gita Ramjee.

The Commission learnt with shock and sadness that Prof. Gita Ramjee passed away in a Durban hospital Tuesday. At the time of her death, Ramjee worked at health care organisation Aurum Institute, which is regarded as a global authority on HIV and TB prevention and eradication. She was Chief Scientific Officer at the Aurum Institute and former chief specialist scientist and director of the South African Medical Research Council’s (SAMRC) HIV Prevention Research Unit.

Prof. Ramjee, worked tirelessly to finding solutions to preventing HIV in women in South Africa. In 2018, Ramjee was awarded the Outstanding Female Scientist Award in Lisbon by the European Development Clinical Trials Partnerships (EDCTP) for her lifetime commitment to finding new HIV prevention methods, which are conducive to the lifestyles, circumstances and perceived risk factors that South African women are faced with.

Prof. Ramjee was a steadfast champion of healthcare. She viewed healthcare as a fundamental human right, a belief which she dedicated her life’s work to achieving through her ground-breaking research in HIV prevention. She exerted extreme leadership in the fight against HIV and AIDS and contributed immensely in the global response to HIV and Aids. 

Prof. Ramjee died after suffering COVID-19-related complications. It is believed that she had complications arising from asthma and pneumonia.

Once again the Commission extends its most sincere and deepest condolences to her family, colleagues and friends.

May her soul rest in peace.


Issued by the South African Human Rights Commission


The South African Human Rights Commission.

Follow the SAHRC

About us

The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

Braampark Forum 3, 33 Hoofd Street, Braamfontein

011 877 3600 (Switchboard)

Sign- up for our monthly Pfanelo newsletter