Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer. Picture: FACEBOOK
Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer. Picture: FACEBOOK

Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer‚ wife of South Africa's billionaire mining scion, Jonathan‚ died on Tuesday at the age of 50.

A short obituary notice was published in the press by the family on Thursday which stated the mother of three passed away peacefully at their UK home. She is believed to have suffered a brain tumour.

Ward Oppenheimer‚ a Harvard trained lawyer and Fulbright Scholar‚ was well known for her African philanthropic efforts and was a joint founder of the Brenthurst Foundation‚ which brings together the world's leading thinkers and practitioners to promote the continent's economic growth and development.

She was also involved in supporting the Centre for African Studies at her alma mater‚ Harvard University‚ from which she had graduated magna cum laude.

The family had also recently endowed a chair at Cambridge to teach the deep history of Africa to mark her 50th year.

According to the obituary notice‚ there will be a private funeral service in the UK on Saturday‚ 20 May‚ with details of a South African memorial service to be released later.

“The family thank everyone for their support at this difficult time‚” it read.

In a statement issued to TimesLive on Thursday‚ De Beers said the company was mourning the tragic loss.

“Jennifer was a vibrant force for good and as a former chairperson of the De Beers Fund‚ she inspired us and touched the lives of thousands of people.”

“The hearts of everyone at De Beers are with her adoring husband Jonathan and their beautiful children Samuel‚ Isabel and Nathaniel‚” the statement read.

“I remember her as a bubbly‚ vibrant and passionate person who was very involved in the work she wanted to contribute to the country‚” said Shelagh Gastrow‚ a founder and director of Gastrow Bloch Philanthropies and former executive director Inyathelo‚ of which Ward Oppenheimer and her husband were generous donors.

Gastrow said Ward Oppenheimer was especially passionate about funding projects in “higher education‚ social development‚ and entrepreneurship”.

 - TMG Digital

Please sign in or register to comment.