Professor JAL van Wyk 5 May 1936 – 5 May 2022

  • Elmin Steyn
Keywords: Professor JAL van Wyk


It is with sadness yet with a wealth of fond memories that I report on the death of Professor Johannes Adriaan Louw van Wyk, a truly remarkable person. His unwavering commitment to excellence in every aspect of his life was what he expected from his registrars and everyone he worked with. Ahead of his time in many ways, he was also a liberal thinker, unafraid to offer the alternative view, a pioneer, and widely travelled, having forged friendships all over the world. Professor van Wyk was an expert on classical music (he collected and curated the complete works of the composers Schumann and Brahms on big reel tapes), a collector of art and historical books. He enjoyed cooking, was great fun at a party, and quick to laugh, especially at his own jokes. His long legs and arms, bounding with long strides up flights of stairs, earned him the nickname of Rabobie (Spiderman, a Xhosa TV cartoon character in the mid 1980s) from the students at the Medical University of South Africa (MEDUNSA) campus.

How to Cite
Steyn, E. (2023). Professor JAL van Wyk 5 May 1936 – 5 May 2022. South African Journal of Surgery, 61(4), 57. Retrieved from