Velo Govender passed away on 5 July 2008 at the age of 32.

She was awarded her PhD in Plant Pathology in September 2008.


She wasn't there but they awarded her the degree

She wasn't there, but they vigorously applauded her achievement

She wasn't there but her professor saluted her at the podium

She wasn't there, but her mother received her award

She wasn't there, but we all felt her among us

... in that space

... on the stage

... in our hearts

... she was there.

Edwin Smith

Veloshinie Govender, known to her friends as Velo, started her postgraduate studies at the University of Pretoria in 2001. In the middle of 2007 she began lecturing second-year Microbiology practicals, where students enjoyed her small size but large zest for life and learning. Velo was an internationally recognised scientist(for her young age). On her passing, messages of condolence were received as far away as Scotland and Brazil.

She presented her work at international conferences with the professionalism and confidence only found in senior scientists. Velo mentored a number of post-graduate students whom she helped to complete their degrees. Velo was an excellent friend who will be sorely missed for years to come. She loved life and was grateful for all she was blessed with. May we find a lesson in her short fulfilled life. In loving memory of a colleque, scientist, teacher and, most importantly, friend. She will be eternally remembered.

Stacey Collignon

New Publications

Mangwende E, Kritzinger Q, Aveling TAS. (2019) Control of Alternaria leaf spot of coriander in organic farming. European Journal of Plant Pathology 10.1007/s10658-019-01682-6 PDF
Mandiriza G, Kritzinger Q, Aveling TAS. (2018) The evaluation of plant extracts, biocontrol agents and hot water as seed treatments to control black rot of rape in South Africa. Crop Protection 114:129-136. 10.1016/j.cropro.2018.08.025 PDF
Mandiriza G, Kritzinger Q, Aveling TAS. (2018) Seed health and germination of Brassica spp. from seed companies in South Africa. Acta horticulturae :171-176. 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1204.22 PDF
Pieterse E, Aveling TAS, Jacobs A, Cowan DA. (2018) Seasonal variability in fungal endophytes from Aizoaceae plants in the Succulent Karoo biodiversity hotspot, South Africa. Journal of Arid Environments 156:19–26. 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2018.05.004
Mangwende E, Aveling TAS, Kritzinger Q, Truter M. (2018) Alternaria alternata: A new seed-transmitted disease of coriander in South Africa. European Journal of Plant Pathology 152(2):409-416. 10.1007/s10658-018-1484-x PDF