Congratulations to Dr Sathasivan (Saths) Cooper who was elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Society at our 2013 Annual General Meeting, held in London this month.
Dr Cooper is a clinical psychologist with an impressive record of dissemination and public and policy engagement including over 150 peer reviewed papers, key-notes and invited addresses. He has had a major impact on policy and legislative frameworks within South Africa and was elected four times as President of the Psychological Society of South Africa and as its first Fellow in September 2002.
A close colleague of the late Steve Biko, Saths played a key role in the anti-Apartheid struggle, in South Africa and internationally. He was instrumental in the advent of democracy in South Africa and the unification and ascendancy of psychology and youth and community reconstruction and development during and after Apartheid. During the struggle for democracy Saths was banned, house arrested and jailed for nine years (spending over five years in Robben Island in the same cell-block as former President Mandela, Govan Mbeki and Walter Sisulu). He was declared a ‘victim of gross human rights violations’ by South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1998.
In 2000 Dr Cooper was the first sub-Saharan African to be elected to the Executive Committee of the International Union of Psychological Science and also the first non-European to be made its President in 2012. He was influential in enabling the 30th International Congress of Psychology to be held, for the first time in its 123 year history, in Africa in 2012 at which he also served as President.