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

Aveling TAS, De Ridder K, Olivier NA, Berger DK. (2020) Seasonal variation in mycoflora associated with asymptomatic maize grain from small-holder farms in two provinces of South Africa. Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Tropics and Subtropics (JARTS) 121(2):265-275. 10.17170/kobra-202011262275 PDF
Berger DK, Mokgobu T, De Ridder K, Christie N, Aveling TAS. (2020) Benefits of maize resistance breeding and chemical control against northern leaf blight in smallholder farms in South Africa. South African Journal of Science 12(11) 10.17159/sajs.2020/8286
Godfrey, Aveling, B. Flett, M. Truter. (2020) Control of Alternaria leaf blight caused by Alternaria alternata on sunflower using fungicides and Bacillus amyloliquefaciens. Crop Protection 132:1-7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cropro.2020.105146 PDF
T.A.S. Aveling , Chirwa P, Edgar Mangwende. (2020) Evaluation of seed treatments against Colletotrichum kahawae subsp. cigarro on Eucalyptus spp.. Crop Protection PDF
Zelda, Zelda, Terry, D.A. Cowan, A. Jacobs. (2020) Diversity and seasonality of fungal communities in soil from the SucculentKaroo biodiversity hotspot, South Africa. Journal of Arid Environments 172:1-7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaridenv.2019.104020 PDF