The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) has paid tribute to Ms Bakhombisile Maseko, a veteran role player in South Africa's indigenous knowledge systems, who passed away earlier this month.

 

The late Ms Maseko was the National Coordinator of the Traditional Healers' Organisation, and also served on the task team of a pilot project on recognition of prior learning (RPL) of indigenous knowledge (IK) holders.

 

The RPL initiative stems from the DSI's Indigenous Knowledge Policy and the subsequent Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Act, 2019, which calls for accreditation and certification of the competencies of IK practitioners in the country.

 

"Ms Maseko played a significant role in this area, facilitating the documentation of norms and standards of competencies in the traditional health domain," said Dr Phil Mjwara, the Director-General of Science and Innovation.

 

While Ms Maseko's involvement in the RPL initiative was brief, her presence was impactful, the Director-General said, and she will be remembered as a strong and remarkable person with a deep sense of ubuntu, compassion and duty in advocating the cause of traditional practitioners as a profession.

 

"The Department extends its sincere and deepest condolences to Ms Maseko's immediate and extended family, including her colleagues in the traditional healers' sector.  The Department also pays tribute to Ms Maseko's parents, who passed a few days apart last week."

 

Her father, the late Dr Nhlavana Maseko, was the President of the Traditional Healers' Organisation and a highly respected leader and sage in the indigenous knowledge community.

 

"May their souls rest in peace in the ancestral realms," Dr Mjwara concluded.

 

Issued by the Department of Science and Innovation

 

For more information, contact Veronica Mohapeloa at 083 400 5750.