Mr. Errol Moorcroft (in the middle) received an Honorary award from the Grootfontein Old Students Union (GOSU) at the Diploma Ceremony of the Grootfontein College of Agriculture, Middelburg EC. From the left are Mr. Abrie Aucamp (chairman of the GOSU), Mr. Moorcroft  and Mr. Tino Herselman (Director; Grootfontein Agricultural Development Institute. Mr. Moorcroft completed his studies at Grootfontein in 1959. He also studied at Rhodes University where he was lecturer afterwards. He also farmed and was a politician until 2004.


Errol Knott Moorcroft

Errol Knott Moorcroft was born in Adelaide in the Eastern Cape in 1940 and spent his early childhood on the family farm Clifton in the upper reaches of the Winterberg range. He concluded his school career at Queen’s College in Queenstown, after which he completed a two-year diploma at Grootfontein College of Agriculture, where he served as primarius of the Students Representative Council in 1959. He then attended Rhodes University in Grahamstown and obtained the BA (Hons) degree in 1964. He excelled as a student at Rhodes University and was awarded the prestigious Abe Bailey bursary, which allowed him to attend Oxford University in England where he obtained the MLitt degree in 1967.

Errol was an outstanding rugby player and received colours at both school and university level, including the prestigious Rugby Blue from Oxford University. He also represented South African Universities and Eastern Province (1960-1964), and was invited to the Springbok rugby trials.

Errol started his professional career as a lecturer at Rhodes University in 1968 and was a full-time farmer from 1969-1981. His desire to contribute to finding a solution to the political impasse during a turbulent time in our history, guided him to enter politics. He represented the PFP as Member of Parliament for Albany from 1981-1987 and the DP from 1989-1994. From 1994-1997 he was a DP Member of the Senate and a Member of the National Council of Provinces from 1997-1999; during the latter period he served as Federal Chairperson of the DP.

Errol finished his political career as a DA Member of Parliament from 1999-2004, after which he returned to farming. As DP and DA spokesperson on Agriculture, Land Affairs, Tourism, Water Affairs and Forestry, he was responsible for drafting several policy documents. He also served with proficiency on various portfolio and standing committees during his time in public office.

Errol also served on various other committees, trusts and councils, amongst others as executive member of the Eastern Cape Agricultural Union, foundation member of the Human Rights Trust and councillor of Rhodes University. Thanks to his devotion to conservation and interest in certain fields of study, the establishment of the Bushneck and Ecca Pass reserves was also as a result of his personal endeavours.

Errol was married to Jill, who sadly passed away, and they have two children, Stephen and Joanne, and four grandchildren.

Errol Knott Moorcroft was certainly an imposing man on the sports field, but he will long be remembered for his gamesmanship, fellowship, humility and unconditional service to his fellow South Africans.