DA MP and acclaimed academic Belinda Bozzoli has died, the DA confirmed on Saturday.
It did not state her cause of death but News24 reported that she had died after a long battle with cancer. She died on Saturday morning.
“The DA is deeply saddened at the passing of DA member of parliament, shadow minister of higher education, constituency head, acclaimed academic, friend and colleague, the honourable Prof Belinda Bozzoli MP,” the party said in a statement.
DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone described Bozzoli as being deeply committed to her work in parliament and making sure that higher education institutions remained respected and that as many young people as possible had access to excellent higher education.
“Her work was that of a true patriot. A fighter of principle and true democrat.
“Belinda worked long into her illness, demonstrating her absolute commitment to SA and her caucus.
“Our deepest sympathies go to her husband, two sons, daughter and all her family and friends.
“SA is the poorer for not having Belinda fighting for their rights.
“May she rest in peace,” Mazzone said.
The University of the Witwatersrand also paid tribute to Bozzoli, describing her as “an illustrious academic and strategic leader, and a daughter of Wits who served the university for decades before her election to parliament where she continued to pursue her passion for quality higher education”.
“Bozzoli was a distinguished academic who contributed to the prestige and reputation of Wits University through her various academic achievements and the institutional roles held during her time,” it added.
Bozzoli served as head of the department of sociology at Wits in the late 1990s before leading the entire School of Social Sciences from 2001—2003.