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Archbishop Thabo Makgoba

Thabo Makgoba is the Anglican Church of Southern Africa’s Archbishop of Cape Town.

A graduate from Orlando High, Soweto, he attended the University of the Witwatersrand where he obtained a BSc, a BA (Honours) in Applied Psychology, and a MEd in Educational Psychology.

The Archbishop has been a Senior Lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand, was Dean of Knockando Residence at Wits College of Education (formerly Johannesburg College of Education).

In 1989 he completed his studies at St. Paul's College in Grahamstown to enter the Anglican ministry. His leadership journey to the Anglican Church resulted in many stops to when in January, 2008 he became the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, and Metropolitan of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. He is the youngest person elected to this office.

In 2008 he was decorated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams with the Cross of St Augustine for his role within the Anglican Communion. He is currently the chair of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network, and is a Procter Fellow (2008} from Episcopal Divinity School in the United States.

In 2009 he received the degree of Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa, from the General Theological Seminary (of the Episcopal Church) in New York City. 

Later in 2009 he earned a PhD from the University of Cape Town, for a thesis on Spirituality in the South African Mining Workplace (published in 2012). He received the Ernest Oppenheimer Memorial Trust Scholarship to support this research. His PhD focused on the relationship between spirituality and lifelong emotional and physical effects of spinal cord injured miners and how this made them lose hope in life itself.

With his deep knowledge of the human elements of the mining industry the Archbishop has been a valued advisor to all parties in the mining sector who are struggling to define the mid and long range role of mining as an economic driver of our economy.

In February 2012 he was inaugurated as the Chancellor of the University of the Western Cape.

He has established, and serves on the boards of various NGOs. He writes frequently for a range of newspapers and journals, frequently focusing on the issues of morality and justice in politics and economics just as in religious and social life, both challenging and acting as pastor to those in the corridors of power and the nation as a whole. His writing frequently advocate against the abuse of power, against the greed and corruption which are some of the primary sources of conflict in our part of the world. 

Judge Richard Goldstone

Richard Goldstone was born on 26 October 1938 and studied law at the University of the Witwatersrand where he obtained a BA LLB degree with honours in 1962.

World-renowned South African judge, Richard Goldstone has served in the most influential courts in the country as Judge of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in 1989 and Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa from July 1994. He has also served as prosecutor and commission member in several other countries, including genocide investigations and judgements for Bosnia in The Hague.

Goldstone's first position was as advocate at the Johannesburg Bar. He progressed rapidly to Senior Council by 1976 and was appointed Judge of the Transvaal Supreme Court in 1980. In 1985 he was elected National President of the National Institute of Crime Prevention and the Rehabilitation of Offenders (NICRO), a position he filled until 2000. From 1991 to 1994 he led a commission of inquiry related to Public Violence and Intimidation, which became known as the Goldstone Commission. He also chaired the Standing Advisory Committee of Company Law. On 15 August 1994 he was assigned the important position of Chief Prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal covering the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda and remained in this position until September 1996.

In 1998 Goldstone and a panel of international specialists drafted a Declaration of Human Duties and Responsibilities in Valencia, Spain, for UNESCO. In August 1999 he was appointed Chairperson of the International Independent Inquiry in Kosovo. He stayed with the Inquiry until December 2001 after which he became Chairman of the International Task Force on Terrorism, established by the International Bar Association. He also served as chairperson of the Bradlow Foundation, an educational trust while heading the board of the Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA).

Goldstone has established himself as an international law expert as well as an academic. He was Chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand, and served on the board of its law school. In Jerusalem, Israel, he was a Governor of the Hebrew University.

He also led World ORT, a global technology and technical training organisation. When the Argentinean government decided to monitor an International Panel established in August 1997 to study Nazi activities in their country since 1938, they included Goldstone. He has been honoured with numerous awards that include the International Human Rights Award from the American Bar Association in 1994, and Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of Cape Town, Natal, the Witwatersrand, Jerusalem, the Hebrew University, Notre Dame, the Mary University College and Wilfred Laurier in Ontario Canada. The Universities of Glasgow, and the Catholic University of Brabant in Tilburg, the Netherlands, Calgary and Emory also awarded him honorary qualifications.

The Inner Temple in London selected him as an Honorary Bencher with St Johns College at Cambridge appointing him an Honorary Fellow. Within the legal world he is an Honorary Member of the Association of the Bar in New York and a Fellow of the Weatherhead Centre for International Affairs at Harvard. He made a significant contribution to the Arts and development of Science as Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and faculty member of the Salzburg Seminar for 3 years, and from October to December 2001 he was visiting Professor at the School of Law at New York University.

Goldstone has always been deeply involved in the protection of human rights and at the closing of the international conference on "Hate, Genocide and Human Rights: Fifty Years Later", held at The Faculty of Law's Moot Court, he said: “Human rights laws, genocide laws, laws relating to hate speech” are an attempt by humankind to stop the terrible slaughter of men, women and children which has marked this century”.

Judge Azhar Cachalia

Azhar Cachalia is a Judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa and former anti-apartheid activist for the United Democratic Front.

An activist born and bred, he is as passionate today about the need to create a just, non-racial society with opportunity and growth for all, as he was in his student days at Wits in the 1980s.

As a student he and his brother founded the Benoni Student Movement where the family resided. The Benoni Student Movement targeted disadvantaged students and learners from the surrounding community, with the aim of helping them to apply for bursaries to university, as well as helping the then Standard 9 and matric pupils to overcome any learning problems they might have so that they could achieve university entrance passes.

He later became vice-president of the Black Students’ Society (BSS) at Wits in 1981. The BSS was formed at Wits in the mid-70s. It emerged from the black consciousness movement but under his leadership it took a strong, non-racial character that was more ANC aligned.

During the 1970’s and 1980’s black students studying at historically white universities in South Africa established Black Student Societies (BSS), which were elected bodies aimed at representing the specific interests of black students who at the time, due to apartheid policies, constituted an artificial minority on so-called white campuses.

Typically the BSS and SRC structures worked closely together in uniting black and white students in anti-apartheid campaigns guided by the overall vision of a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic South Africa.

The roots of this approach lay in Steve Biko and Barney Pityana’s decision in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s to lead black students out of the National Union of South African Students (Nusas) to establish the South African Students Organisation (SASO).

In 1991, the BSS and SRC’s decided to form united representative structures on the historically white campuses. At the same time, Nusas and Sansco (Saso’s successor organization) merged to form the South African Students Congress (Sasco).

Prof. Mamokgethi Phakeng

Mamokgethi Phakeng is full professor and Vice-Principal of Research and Innovation at Unisa.

She is the current President of Convocation of Wits University and trustee of the FirstRand Foundation. She has served as national president of the Association for Mathematics Education of South Africa (AMESA) from 2002 to 2006, founding chairperson of the Board of the South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF) from 2004 to 2006 and secretary and member of the executive committee of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (PME) from 2003 to 2007.

 She has published over 80 research papers and four edited volumes, which have so far been cited more than 1174 times. Phakeng has won several awards for her research and community work, including the 2011 NSTF award for being the most outstanding Senior Female Researcher over the last 5 to 10 years in recognition of her innovative, quality research on teaching and learning mathematics in multilingual classrooms.

In August 2014 CEO magazine named Phakeng as the most influential woman in Academia in Africa. She is founder of the Adopt-a-learner Foundation (, a non-profit organisation that provides educational and financial support to learners from township and rural areas to acquire higher education.

She is passionate about people, causes and things – this is visible in the choices she makes about which committees, Foundations and boards to serve on. She is the current President of Convocation of Wits University and trustee of the FirstRand Foundation.

She has served as national president of the Association for Mathematics Education of South Africa (AMESA) from 2002 to 2006, founding chairperson of the Board of the South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF) from 2004 to 2006 and secretary and member of the executive committee of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (PME) from 2003 to 2007.