Former South African Ambassador to Japan Dr. Ben Ngubane died in Richard’s Bay on July 12, after being admitted to hospital with Covid-19.
Baldwin Sipho "Ben" Ngubane served as SA Ambassador to Japan from 2004 to 2008. He played a pivotal role in the establishment of the South African Chamber of Commerce in Japan (SACCJ) in 2008.
SACCJ Chairperson Jaco Minnaar said: “The SACCJ is deeply saddened by the untimely passing of Dr. Ben Ngubane. Our Chamber was established due to his vision, and have held a close relationship with him over the years. He will be sorely missed. We would like to convey our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones during this difficult time.”
Dr Ngubane received the Grand Cordon of the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun in 2010 for his contributions "to the enhancement of the relationship and the cooperation in science and technology between Japan and South Africa". He was later awarded an honorary degree by the International Christian University in Tokyo for “distinguishing himself in humanitarian and development professionalism”.
Born on 22 October, 1941 at Camperdown in Umgungundlovu, KwaZulu-Natal Province, Dr Ngubane took over as health MEC in the KwaZulu-Natal government in 1991 and became Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology in 1994 and again in 1999. He also served as KwaZulu-Natal Premier and Chairperson of SABC, Eskom and Land Bank. He was married to Sheila and leaves four children.