HARRY SCHWARZ AWARD – OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT
Harry Schwarz came to South Africa as a refugee from Nazi Germany. He was educated at SACS and Jeppe High School and was awarded a BA, with distinctions in both major subjects, and LLB (cum laude), by the university of the Witwatersrand. He was awarded both the Law Society and Society of Advocate’s prizes. After active service as a navigator in the South African Airforce during the Second World War, he was admitted as an attorney in 1949, later as a barrister (Member of Middle Temple) in London, United Kingdom and, in 1953, became an advocate at the South African Bar. He has been awarded honorary doctorates by the University of Judaism (USA) and the University of Stellenbosch.
Harry has practised as an attorney for much of his career, has taught law at Wits University, where he was a member of council, and has been director of companies and public bodies. He is well known and respected in South Africa for his life-time participation in politics: prior to the April 1994 elections, always in opposition to the ruling party of the time. He has held many senior posts in both local and central government and, as leader of the Reform Party and a founding member of the Progressive Federal and Democratic Party, he was a member of the Provincial Council of the Transvaal, where he was leader of the opposition, and a member of parliament. In March 1991, he was invited to handle the transitional period in the key diplomatic post of South African Ambassador to the United States of America, a position he held until November 1994.
Harry has now returned to law, joining Hofmeyr Incorporated as a partner and taking up an appointment, as Senior Advisor, with leading American law firm, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld. His areas of legal practice are primarily corporate and commercial with special interests in banking, insurance, diplomacy and advocacy. For many years he served as Chairman of the Governing Body of Sir John Adamson High School and was instrumental in negotiating for the land on which the school building now stands.
Harry Schwarz died after a short illness on 5 February 2010 at the age of 86.
LYNDA DE KOCK
D VAN DER TANG
CHARLOTTE DU PLESSIS
TANYA CESARE & MARCUS SWANEPOEL
KIM VAN HEERDEN