Gundasamy Kuppusami, was a pioneering Tamil scholar and author instrumental in persuading the South African government to introduce 'Tamil' as a language at secondary schools. He recently died at the age of 103 years, breathed his last in Johannesburg and his funeral took place at his home-town Durban.
Gundasamy began his career as a teacher and went on to become the first inspector of schools when the system was still segregated by race under apartheid. He was also a prolific author on education and Tamil culture among Indians there. Among his most popular books which are still sought after are 'A Short History of Indian Education', Religions, Customs and Practices of South African-Indians' and 'The Three Pillars of Tamil'.
The centenarian was also a founder member and longest serving member of the South African Tamil Federation (SATF). He also drafted the layout of the first Tamil alphabet card that SATF printed and distributed to all Tamil organizations in the country. He was also responsible for spearheading the numerous Tamil teacher programmes that SATF held. According to Bobby Pillay, SATF representative, “he was one of the greatest scholars they ever had”.