Ampie Muller (1930-2019). Academic, conflict negotiator, radio announcer and part-time actor.
Born Adriaan Diederichs Muller in Warden, Orange Free State, on 27 December 1930, the brother of the journalist and editor Piet Muller, he had his schooling at the Dirkie Uys Hoërskool in Warden (1937 – 1948), before going to the University of Pretoria to study psychology. He completed a B.A., a B.A. Hons and an M.A. degree there between 1949 – 1954 and went on to obtain a Doctorandus of Psychology and a D.Litt et Phil. from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam ("Free University Amsterdam").
He was professor and dean at a number of South African universities for more than 30 years, inter alia founding the Psychology Departments at both the University of Fort Hare and the University of Port Elizabeth and working at the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of the Western Cape.
He spent much of his academic life working as a consultant in the fields of conflict resolution, peace studies, organizational development and the creative use of differences. In this respect he was inter alia the founding Chair of the South African Association for Conflict Intervention in 1986, the Senior Consultant at the Centre for Intergroup Studies (now the Centre for Conflict Resolution at the University of Cape Town) for 21 years and a member of the National Peace Committee after Nelson Mandela was released.
His first wife was Ria Louw (1932-1964), the daughter of N.P. van Wyk Louw and Joan Wessels. The couple had two children, and Ria passed away in 1964. In the 1990s Muller met and married Beverley Roos-Muller, a colleague at Fine Music Radio.
He passed away in Cape Town on 5 September, 2019.
Contribution to South African Theatre, Film, Media and Performance
He worked as a voice artist for the SABC for many years and joined the radio station FMR (Fine Music Radio in March 1996 as an announcer and later editor, working there till February 2016. A well known reviewer himself, one who wrote and spoke widely on literature and music matters over the years, he also used his position to involve other authors, reviewers and artists in his programmes.
His final cultural project was Die pluimsaad waai ver, a compilation of reminiscences about his first father-in-law, N.P. van Wyk Louw (the title taken from one of Louw's own historical dramas). The manuscript submitted for publication shortly before his death.
Helikon, 5(21), 1955.
Death notice, Die Burger, 7 September, 2019
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