Hamba Kahle Dot Keet: 16 February 1942 – 8 February 2020
Born in Zimbabwe in 1942, Dot Keet pursued her university education in South Africa in the early 1960s. She then went into voluntary political exile and spent many years undertaking research and university teaching in a number of neighbouring countries in Southern African, and was engaged in the liberation struggles in several of these countries, particularly with the liberation movements and post-liberation reconstruction and transformation in Angola and Mozambique. She played a major role in mobilising international solidarity with Mozambique, Angola and Guinea Bissau through MAGIC, an information centre she helped establish. She returned to South Africa in 1991 and worked for the South African trade union movement on the South African Labour Bulletin, and in the ANC/COSATU Macro-Economic Research Group (MERG) mandated to prepare economic policy for the putative post-apartheid democratic government. She returned to academic work at the University of the Western Cape in 1994, holding the position of Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Southern African Studies in the School of Government at the University of the Western Cape. She was simultaneously a member of the Board and Research Associate of the Alternative Information and Development Center (AIDC) (based in Cape Town) and also of Biowatch-South Africa (headquartered in Durban) and was a Member of the Editorial Board of a “New Agenda” a leading South African journal of socio-economic and political analysis.
Her major focus throughout was on national, regional and international political economy policy research and strategic analyses, and active political engagements with social and labour movements, independent development NGO and various university-based and inter-governmental research and policy development bodies in South Africa, in the Southern African region and throughout Africa, and internationally. She was a founder-member of Jubilee-Africa, and a longstanding collaborator with the Third World Network-Africa (headquartered in Accra Ghana) and with the Africa Trade Network (ATN), as well as a regular researcher and strategic analyst with the Southern African Peoples Solidarity Network (SAPSN). Internationally, she was an active member of Our World Is Not for Sale (OWINFS) and a longstanding Fellow, Research Associate and Board member of the Transnational Institute (headquartered in Amsterdam). She led support from Southern Africa for the World Social Forum and its regional spin-offs in Africa.
We have lost a wonderful example of someone who knew no country allegiance, she was a Southern African, a pan African and internationalist. She fought capitalism, patriarchy and racism wherever she confronted them.