It is with deep sadness that we learnt about the passing of research champion, Prof Wentzel “Blom” Gelderblom. Prof Gelderblom was one of the pioneers of Rooibos research and laid an inspiring and strong foundation for research in Rooibos. He mentored many aspiring students to follow his steadfast exploration of the goodness of Rooibos.

At CPUT, he built a legacy in the newly formed Applied Microbial and Health Biotechnology Institute (AMHBI) and was appointed in 2014 as the first Research Chair in Biotechnology and Director of the Institute of Biomedical and Microbial Biotechnology. Prof Gelderblom handed over his reigns as Research Chair in Biotechnology to one of his protégés, Prof Jeanine Marnewick, head of the Oxidative Stress Research Centre.

Prof Gelderblom was a passionate and exceptional person, and this showed in how he approached his work. We are deeply thankful to have made this journey with him and for his contribution to the field of Rooibos research and for the heritage he leaves.

The SA Rooibos Council would like to wish Blom’s team at AMHBI, Drs Mariska Lilly, Stefan Abel, Sedicka Samodien and Thandekile Mthethwa, the very best in this new season and with the continuation of their work.

Prof Wentzel Gelderblom