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Andreas van Wyk

Andreas van Wyk

Author of standard works on South African law
Rector and Vice Chancellor of Stellenbosch University
1993 - December 2001

Andreas Herculas van Wyk was born on 17 September 1941 in Pretoria.
1960-1964: studied law at Stellenbosch University (BA, LLB, cum laude )
1965-1966: studied at the University of Bonn (Germany) and
1974-1976: at Leyden (LLD, cum laude )
From 1966 until 1984 Andreas van Wyk was attached to the Law Faculty of Stellenbosch University, from 1978 as Dean and member of the University Executive. In 1984 he was appointed as director-general of the department of Constitutional Development and Planning. He occupied this position until his return to academic life in 1987 as professor of Mercantile Law (particularly Company Law) and Family Law in Stellenbosch. He was appointed as Vice-Rector (Operations) of Stellenbosch University on 1 July 1991 and took over as Rector and Vice-Chancellor on 1 July 1993. He retired at the end of 2001.
As an academic, Andreas van Wyk has written three standard works on South African law and numerous articles on legal matters. As advisor to the South African Law Commission he was co-responsible for the drafting of the main provisions of legislation which, in 1984, gave equal rights to married women.
As head of the Department of Constitutional Development, Andreas van Wyk was closely involved with various reforms from 1985 to 1986, particularly the abolition of the pass laws, the introduction of full property rights for Black South Africans, the rationalisation of the old Department of Co-operation and Development, the abolition of the Development Boards, the creation of a new provincial system, the creation of regional services councils, and the preparatory work for negotiations for a new South African constitution.

Apart from his professional field, Andreas van Wyk is interested in South African and international politics and economics, and history, on which he reads widely in eight modern languages (Afrikaans, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish).
He also has a strong interest in business, serving on the board of the South African insurer, the Old Mutual.
Andreas Van Wyk is a full member of the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns. He is also a past member of the council of the University of Zululand, the council of the South African Cultural History Museum and of the Human Sciences Research Council.

He has been married (since1967) to Magdaleen, (née Krüger), lecturer in Dietetics at Stellenbosch University and well known culinary author. They have two daughters.


He has received various bursaries and awards, including a postdoctoral fellowship from the German Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (1982), a travel grant from the United States-South Africa Leader Exchange Programme (1978), the University of Leyden's William of Orange medal for exceptional merit (1995), an honorary degree in law from the Belgian University of Louvain (1997) and the Humboldt medal for his promotion of scientific cooperation between South Africa and Germany.
Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns (SA Academy of Arts and Science): Honorary member 2006

Wie is reg?  Tien jaar se regspunteAs well as many articles in academic journals Andreas van Wyk has published some 55 contributions on law in various encyclopedias. Since 2002 he has been writing a bi-weekly column on legal issues for the Cape Town newspaper Die Burger and for the Johannesburg newspaper Beeld.


The power to dispose of the assets of the universal matrimonial community of property. A study in South African law, with excursions on the laws of Brazil and the Netherlands, (LL.D.- thesis), Pijnacker, Nederland, 1976
Kontraktereg en Handelsreg, (4th edition , with J C de Wet, 1978), Butterworths, Durban
Family, Things and Succession (2nd edition, van Lee & Honoré with H J Erasmus and C.G.van der Merwe, 1983), Butterworths
Wie is reg? - Tien jaar se regspunte, Tafelberg, 2012

Book contributions:
Students' Legal Aid Clinics, in: Legal Aid in South Africa, University of Natal, 1974
Die funksionering van die wette in ons regspraktyk, in: Op die Skaal: Gemengde Huwelike en Ontug, editors: De Villiers & Kinghorn, Tafelberg, 1984
The legal implications of AIDS, in: Aids in Context: a South African Perspective, (A. van Niekerk, editor and co-author), Lux Verbi, 1991
Overview in: Spanning the Global Divide: Networking for Sustainable Delivery, School of Public Management, University of Stellenbosch,1998

Text supplied by Andreas van Wyk

The Old Main Building is the oldest academic building of Stellenbosch University:
Inaugurated in November 1886

Architect: Carl Otto Hager
Law Department

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