Dear IJR Board Chairperson, Madam Glenda Wildschut,
I have received with great sorrow the news of the passing away of your Executive Director Stan Henkeman. Stan will be remembered for his devotion to the realization of an equal and just South Africa, his dedicated leadership of the IJR in further deepening the institute’s commitment in building justice and reconciliation in divided communities of South Africa and the African continent. The Embassy of Finland has successfully partnered with IJR for many years, and I have had the privilege to work with Stan in my previous position. We will deeply miss his dedication and wisdom. The Embassy of Finland would like to express its sincere condolences to the IJR board and staff; as well as to Ms. Henkeman, their children and to the entire extended Henkeman family. Our deepest sympathies.
Iina Soiri Iina, Chargé d’Affairs, Embassy of Finland
It is still so unreal to me that Stan is gone and with great sadness that I’m writing this memory of him. I will always remember Stan’s kindness and giving spirit. Whenever he traveled afar, he always came back with something for staff. He would always give a warm reception to guests at the office as if he was welcoming them into his home. Both Stan and Sharon have always showed me kindness and treated me more like family. Stan was always calm under pressure, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him panic, this would rub off on me and really helped me to breath and then conquer whatever challenge there was. He always believed in me and more so, made me believe in myself. It’s thanks to Stan that I owe my career at IJR to for the opportunities he gave me and for taking a chance on me. Gone too soon! I will forever be grateful to have worked alongside him and will miss him dearly.
Stan may you rest in peace.
Simone Naidoo, Executive Assistant to Stan
What a sad day for all of you at the IJR with the passing of Stan Henkeman. I can’t believe it.’
Faiza, NuweKloof, Community on the West Coast
My innige meegevoel met Stan se heengaan! Sy lewe was exemplary & inspirational!’
Cecyl Esau, Former IJR Employee
Stan did not back down on issues of principle. His integrity, passion and character did not have room for compromise when it came to the fight for dignity of, and within communities. His compassion and generosity to those deemed vulnerable, shown through every time. He has this thing where he gave the same respect to people in all walks of life. He knew the value of being valued and acknowledged, so he treated others the way he would want to be treated. His attitude of, ‘how can I help’ and ‘what can I do’, meant so much to me. Friend, guardian, motivator, brother, mentor, are some of the affections people had for him. I really just wanted for him to win this one race, great athlete that he was… ‘
Anthea Flink, IJR employee
I consider it a privilege and an honour to have known Stan for over thirty years and worked along side him for the last two years. He was a leader, a friend and a brother. A post by his son Joshua on FB just confirmed the calibre of a man that he was, a father to the fatherless, a friend to the friendless and a champion of justice and reconciliation. His life is a testimony of resilience, commitment and determination tempered with compassion and love for the marginalised and downtrodden people of our beloved country. Long may his life live on in all of us who knew him. Thank you to Sharon, Joshua, Luke and Aaron for sharing him with us. The world is indeed the richer for it. May the God of all comfort comfort you both now and in the days to come. Blessings.
Dr Ric Amansure
The DDP management, board and staff have learnt the sudden on the sad passing of Mr Stanley Henkeman. The organization conveys our deepest sympathy to his dear wife, family and friends as well as to the IJR staff team and board of directors.
Mr Henkeman has been a great champion of active citizen participation and social justice in the Western province and South Africa at large. The DDP and IJR share a common vision for our society and nation. It is this shared vision and values that made our two organizations collaborate on some activities that we had an opportunity to co-host.
He will be remembered for his diligence, insightful leadership, generosity and a hospitable personality among other attributes that endeared him to many of us who had an opportunity to work with him over the years.
He will be deeply missed not only by his immediate family and colleagues but all who knew him all over the country and abroad. South Africa has lost a champion for social justice and the whole country is poorer for the loss of one of our sons.
Our God has now called him to rest. Know that all of us at DDP are praying for you and your family at this time and will continue to do so. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
May his soul rest in eternal peace.
Dr Paul Kariuki, Executive Director, Democracy Development Program (DDP)
I hope and pray that you are well during this trying times. The terrible news I just heard really shocked me. I wish to take this moment and pass my condolences and blessings to each and everyone at IJR. Mr Henkeman left his mark, and I am 100% sure that IJR will continue to be the best research engine I have known over the years.God bless all of you. God be with Mr Henkeman’s family, to protect and be a guiding light during this darkness.
Ditumediso Tse Mofuthu!
Mr. Patrick Letsatsi, Assistant Director: Conversations and Advocacy, Directorate: Social Cohesion and Nation Building
Sad news, I have just come a cross the message of the demise of our brother, Elder and senior, Dr. Stan from South Africa, the Executive Director of IJR with who journeyed with us during the tuff time of 2014 in Yei training. May his soul rest in peace!
From Tongo James, South Sudan
In 2014, he shared with us his life story and keep moving a head instead of the challenges .his resilience was inspiration to all of us.in 2016,he introduced an exercises game on how people react to conflict differently. His story still fresh in my mind. That’s the way of life. Please keep strong and let me know if you wanted to talk to me.
One of my favourite poets, Siegfried Sassoon wrote the following, which I applies to Stan.
I know that he is lost among the stars,
And may return no more but in their light.
Thus, when I find new loveliness to praise,
And things long-known shine out in sudden grace,
Then will I think: ‘He moves before me now.’
So he will never come but in delight.
Felicity Harrison, HOD Sustained Dialogue at IJR
Stan is for me one of the best examples of a life in service of a just peace. It lived in his smile and his unfailing goodwill. His passing leaves us so much poorer …
From Andries Odendaal
Sending condolences strength and thoughts to the family and to IJR, Stan was someone with a warm smile who found poetic words in very difficult situations. I won’t forget how he told us the story of the moment when as a youngster instead of running from the Police he was one of the ones who turned and march towards them with a sense of the power of justice. I also recall his recent presence in the ubuntu lab and the ability to question the discourses commonly upheld.
From Undine Whande, South Africa
Stan was a warrior for justice. He used every opportunity offered to him to fight for the downtrodden, but even more, to build bridges in our unequal society and to create opportunities for reconciliation between all races. He was always available to speak to our listeners on Radio Islam International, even at short notice or at odd hours. And he did this to share his passion for the people of this country and his believe that justice for all would aid in the reconciliation of a nation that suffered so much. As a news and actuality radio producer, I am saddened that his family lost a husband and father, but just as sad for the loss to the country of a man of principle who never deviated from his ethics or morals. R.I.P. Stan, your legacy is untarnished. Hesley Harmse, award-winning radio journalist, news and actuality producer.
Hesley, Radio Islam