Elize Botha

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(1930 - 2007) Professor of literature and literary critic. Elizabeth Botha (née Lindes) was born in 1930 and grew up in Krugersdorp. She studied at Stellenbosch University (1948-1952), majoring in English, Afrikaans and Dutch languages and literature and obtaining a BA in 1950 and an MA 1952 (both cum laude). She obtained a DLitt et Phil, cum laude, at the University of Amsterdam in 1955. Title of her thesis: Veelheid en binding (on the problem of unity in literary theory). During her time as a student at Stellenbosch she was head student of Huis ten Bosch Residence, a member of the Students' Representative Council and (along with her future husband, Johan Botha) an editorial member of the student magazine Die Stellenbosse Student. She worked as newspaper journalist in 1952 and 1953 before leaving for further study in Amsterdam. Thereafter she joined Departments of Afrikaans and Dutch at several Universities, Unisa (1956-1960), University of the Witwatersrand (1964), University of Pretoria (1962-1982) and Unisa (1982-1995). She was a popular radio commentator on literary matters and became the first woman to become Chancellor of the Stellenbosch University . She was also the first woman appointed to the board of Nasionale Pers and the first woman to serve as chairperson of the South African Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns (1989 - 1991). In 1993 she chaired the Commission on National Symbols that had been appointed by the Multiparty Negotiations Forum to decide on the new South African flag and anthem. She also served on the national committee for President Mandela's investiture in 1994. Chair of the Board of State Library (1992 - 1999). Member of the National Arts Council (1997 - 2000).

Her numerous writings on Afrikaans literature, includes many reviews and articles on Afrikaans drama and theatre, as well as literary and dramatic theory.



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