Saturday 15 June


Professor Eddie Mhlanga

8 February 2022, Johannesburg – SECTION27 is deeply saddened by the passing of its board member, Professor Eddie Mhlanga, on 5 February 2022. He was a beloved member of the board and will be remembered for his incredible commitment to health and human rights. 

Eddie was a renowned advocate for women’s health for many decades and a determined activist for sexual and reproductive health and rights. At the time of his passing, he had served as a SECTION27 board member for 18 months.

We have lost a champion in Eddie. He was highly principled and passionate about improving access to quality reproductive health services, particularly in the most vulnerable communities.

Dr Mhlanga was an obstetrician and gynecologist based in the public health service of Mpumalanga province and was well known as a humble, hardworking and caring doctor, dedicated to the well-being of all women and children. He has been described by his colleagues as the complete doctor – one of South Africa’s finest professionals.

He was previously Chief Director: Maternal, Child & Women’s Health at the National Department of Health where he lobbied for and was instrumental in developing the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act. He also spearheaded legislation for the Notification of and Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths and subsequently chaired the associated committee. 

As an academic, Eddie Mhlanga was head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of KwaZulu Natal and was adjunct associate professor in the Department of Maternal and Child Health at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health at Chapel Hill. In 2005, he was elected to the board of Ipas, a highly respected international non-governmental organisation working to advance reproductive justice. He advised various international agencies including the World Health Organisation, UNICEF and UNESCO.  Eddie was a long-serving member of the South African Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Eddie shared his exceptional experience and insight at SECTION27 with great humility, kindness, and a wonderful sense of humour. We will continue to preserve the knowledge and guidance he shared with us, and we will strive to uphold his legacy.

Our deepest condolences to his family and his many colleagues and friends who will all miss him dearly.

From the board and the staff of SECTION27. 


For media queries, contact Patience Phiri ( or 072 992 8380).


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