List Of Alumni Of The University of Cape Town

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List Of Alumni Of The University of Cape Town

List Of Alumni Of The University of Cape Town

The University of Cape Town (UCT) has a long history of turning forth outstanding graduates that have a lasting impact on their areas. From important leaders and forward-thinking thinkers to experienced professionals and ground-breaking researchers, the school has fostered a wide variety of skills. Join us as we commemorate the accomplishments of a few illustrious graduates who graduated from UCT’s esteemed halls. List Of Alumni Of The University of Cape Town


  • Roelof Botha, grandson of Pik Botha; began his career as an actuary and became a venture capitalist
  • Chelsy Davy, the ex-girlfriend of Britain’s Prince Harry
  • Nick Mallett, played for and later coached the Springboks, South Africa’s national rugby union team
  • Tshediso Matona, CEO of Eskom
  • Mark Shuttleworth, billionaire entrepreneur; founder of Canonical Ltd; sponsor of the Ubuntu Linux distribution; second space tourist


  • Professor Emeritus J. M. Coetzee, Literature, 2003
  • Lauren Beukes, international best-selling author of The Shining Girls, winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award
  • Jean Comaroff, professor of anthropology at the University of Chicago
  • John Comaroff, professor of anthropology at the University of Chicago
  • Harold Cressy, head teacher and first colored person to gain a degree in South Africa
  • Janette Deacon, an archaeologist specializing in heritage management and rock art conservation
  • Roger Ebert, the film critic, graduated with an English degree as part of a Rotary International program
  • David Fanning, Emmy Award-winning producer of Frontline
  • Bobby Godsell, Masters of Arts, later CEO of AngloGold Ashanti and Chairman of Eskom
  • Johannes de Villiers Graaff, professor of welfare economics; the economist
  • Adrian Guelke, Professor of Comparative Politics at Queen’s University Belfast
  • Jan Hendrik Hofmeyr, deputy prime minister of South Africa, obtained an M.A. at the age of 17
  • Philip Edgecumbe Hughes, New Testament scholar, Professor at Westminster Theological Seminary
  • Edward Neville Isdell, former CEO of the Coca-Cola Company
  • Gail Kelly, CEO of Westpac; 8th most influential woman in the world, according to Forbes magazine
  • David Lewis-Williams, Professor Emeritus of Cognitive Archaeology at the University of the Witwatersrand specializing in Upper-Palaeolithic and Bushmen rock art
  • Gwen Lister, South African-born Namibian journalist; anti-apartheid activist; founder of The Namibian
  • Nicolaas Petrus van Wyk Louw, Afrikaans-language poet, playwright, and scholar
  • Steven Markovitz, award-winning film and television producer
  • AndrĂ© du Pisani, political scientist and professor at the University of Namibia
  • Mamphela Ramphele, managing director of the World Bank; former Vice-Chancellor of UCT
  • Isaac Schapera, Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics; leading expert in the anthropology of South African tribesmen
  • Carmel Schrire, Professor of Archaeology, Rutgers University
  • Robert Carl-Heinz Shell, South African author and professor of African Studies
  • Lady Skollie, feminist artist and activist
  • Andries Treurnicht, founder and leader of the Conservative Party in South Africa
  • Mary Watson, 2006 winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing

READ: University Of Cape Town Course List


  • Richard Cock, conductor
  • Cromwell Everson, classical music composer and composer of the first Afrikaans opera
  • Ernest Fleischmann, impresario best known for his tenure at the Los Angeles Philharmonic[1]
  • Malcolm Forsyth, musician; composer; Canadian Composer of the Year; Juno Award winner; member of Order of Canada
  • Hendrik Hofmeyr, composer and music theorist; winner of the 1997 Queen Elisabeth of Belgium Composition Prize; Professor of Music at the South African College of Music, University of Cape Town
  • Galt MacDermot, composer of the musical Hair
  • Melanie Scholtz, vocalist, operas, jazz, pop, r&b, and classical music. Graduated from the School of Opera
  • Barry Smith, organist, conductor, musicologist, and former Associate Professor of Music at the South African College of Music, University of Cape Town
  • Pretty Yende

Fine art

  • Anne Bean, British installation and performance artist
  • Breyten Breytenbach, author
  • Roger Ebert, Pulitzer Award-winning American film critic, and writer
  • Kai Lossgott, an interdisciplinary artist
  • Jonathan Shapiro, a South African political cartoonist known as “Zapiro”


  • Vincent Ebrahim, known for his role on The Kumars at No. 42
  • Richard E. Grant, actor
  • Zolani Mahola, lead singer of the South African band Freshlyground
  • Kagiso Lediga, stand-up comedian, actor, and director


  • Professor Allan McLeod Cormack, Medicine, 1979
  • Hilary Deacon, Professor of Archaeology at the University of Stellenbosch specializing in the emergence of modern humans and African archaeology
  • Emanuel Derman, Goldman Sachs financial engineer and author of My Life As A Quant
  • Jonathan M. Dorfan, director of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center
  • Professor Mulalo Doyoyo, a South African engineer and inventor; is known for inventing Cancel, a cementless concrete
  • George Ellis, cosmologist; collaborator with Stephen Hawking; winner of the 2004 Templeton Prize
  • Sir Aaron Klug, Chemistry, 1982
  • Paul Maritz, former Microsoft executive; VMware CEO
  • Magdalena Sauer, the first woman to qualify as an architect in South Africa
  • Sydney Harold Skaife, South African entomologist and naturalist
  • Stanley Skewes, a number theorist most famous in popular mathematics for his bound for the point of changeover in magnitude between the number of primes up to a certain number and an important approximation of this, which was for many years the largest finite number ever legitimately used in a research paper
  • Willem Van Biljon, former co-founder of Mosaic Software, acquired by S1 Corporation; founder of Nimbula, a startup funded by Sequoia Capital
  • Richard van der Riet Woolley, British astronomer who became Astronomer Royal

READ: University of Fort Hare Notable Alumni

Health Sciences

  • Neil Aggett, South African trade union leader and labor activist died in custody after 70 days’ detention without trial
  • Frances Ames, the first woman to receive an MD degree from UCT; the first female professor at UCT
  • Professor Christiaan Barnard performed the world’s first heart transplant at Groote Schuur Hospital
  • Enid Charles, statistician, and demographer
  • David Cooper, theorist, and leader in the anti-psychiatry movement
  • Margaret Keay (1911-1998), plant pathologist
  • Bongani Mayosi, cardiologist and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine
  • Max Theiler, a virologist awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1951 for developing a vaccine against yellow fever
  • Heather Zar, pediatric pulmonologist and Chair Department of Paediatrics

Social sciences

  • John Karlin, an industrial psychologist whose research led to the rectangular push-button telephone
  • Debora Patta, broadcast journalist, and television producer
  • Joel Pollak, editor-in-chief of Breitbart News

Law and government

  • Sheila Camerer, South African politician; former Deputy Minister of Justice; long-serving Member of Parliament of the main opposition the Democratic Alliance; ambassador to Bulgaria; completed a Bachelor of Law degree at UCT in 1964
  • Ryan Coetzee, South African politician; former CEO of the Democratic Alliance and Shadow Minister of Economic Development; chief strategist for Western Cape premier Helen Zille; graduated from UCT in 1994
  • Beric John Croome, Advocate of the High Court of South Africa; Chartered Accountant CA (SA); taxpayers’ rights pioneer; completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree (1980), Certificate in the Theory of Accountancy (1981) and a Ph.D. (Commercial Law) (2008) at UCT
  • Stephen Jolly, Australian activist, and politician.
  • Zainunnisa “Cissie” Gool, anti-apartheid political and civil rights leader
  • Ian Neilson, Executive Deputy Mayor of Cape Town
  • Kate O’Regan, former Constitutional Court of South Africa judge
  • Dullah Omar, South African anti-apartheid activist; lawyer; Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa; minister in the South African cabinet from 1994 until his death
  • Justice Albie Sachs, of the Constitutional Court of South Africa
  • James Selfe, a long-serving Member of Parliament with the Democratic Alliance; chairperson of the party’s federal council; holds a Master’s degree from UCT
  • Lady Kitty Spencer, daughter of the 9th Earl of Spencer and niece of Diana, Princess of Wales
  • Donald Woods, South African journalist, and anti-apartheid activist
  • Percy Yutar, South Africa’s first Jewish attorney-general, and prosecutor of Nelson Mandela in the 1963 Rivonia Treason Trial

Note: The aforementioned article gives a rundown of famous University of Cape Town alums. Visit UCT’s official website for a complete list, or look at reliable websites that highlight the accomplishments of UCT graduates.


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