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In January 1942, during World War II, two pioneering Occupational Therapists sailed from Britain for South Africa to establish the first training course at the University of the Witwatersrand, as well as the first OT Department at the Johannesburg General Hospital, then situated on Hospital Hill. On the way their ship was torpedoed, and they lost literally everything: clothes, books, lecture notes and equipment. They were marooned in Freetown for many months and did not arrive in Johannesburg until late 1942. Nevertheless, the course started as planned in 1943 with six students and Occupational Therapy made its debut in South Africa.

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