Prof Saths Cooper, PhD
Pan-African Psychology Union President, International Science Council Governing Board Member, International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS) and Psychological Society of South Africa Past President, Cooper is a Fellow of the psychological societies of South Africa, India, Ireland and Britain. The first black chair of the Professional Board for Psychology, and the first non-medical/dental professional to become Vice President of the Health Professions
Council (HPCSA), he was Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of urban-Westville.
Amongst his awards are the inaugural IUPsyS Achievement Against the Odds, the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology and the HPCSA Presidential Merit Award.
A close colleague of the Black Consciousness founder Steve Biko, he was banned and housearrested at 22 years of age1 and jailed for nine years, spending over five in the same Robben Island cell-block as President Mandela. Accused No. 1 in the seminal SASO/BPC trial2, he was a leader of the struggle against apartheid from the late 1960s, playing various leadership roles after his release from Robben Island Prison in December 1982. His house was petrol-bombed by the police in 1984 and his last imprisonment was during the state of emergency June- September 1986. Despite the granting of his first passport in October 1986 – valid only for the USA – he nevertheless completed his PhD in Clinical/Community Psychology as a Fulbright Scholar at Boston University in a record three years in December 1989. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (chaired by Nobel Laureate Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu)
declared him a ‘victim of gross human rights violations’ in 1998.
A Clinical/Community Psychologist for 35 years, Cooper is Extraordinary Professor at the University of Pretoria and Honorary Professor at the University of Johannesburg. On the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Board, he chairs its Public Broadcasting Committee, and is an officer of the anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-sectarian 1970s group of activists striving for Restoring Our Common Humanity, who ignited the “spark that lit a veld fire across South Africa” (Mandela, 2002).
1 February 1973 together with Biko, Drake Koka, Bokwe Mafuna, Jerry odisane, Strini Moodley, Harry Nengwekhulu, and Barney Pityana 2 Jan 1975-Dec 1976 with Muntu Myeza, Terror Lekota, Aubrey Mokoape, Nkwenkwe Nkomo, Pandelani Nefolovodwe, Kaborone Sedibe, Zithulele Cindi, and Strini Moodley
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