Prof Bonang Mohale

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Prof Bonang Francis Mohale was appointed as Chancellor of the University of the Free State on 4 June 2020. 

He is Professor of Practice in the Johannesburg Business School (JBS) College of Business and Economics, and Chairman of the Bidvest Group Limited. He is a highly respected South African businessman, known as much for his patriotism as for his active role in advancing the country’s interests. He is author of the best-selling book, Lift as You Rise, launched in November 2018. It is a compilation of some of his spoken and written words in which Prof Mohale reveals the issues he is passionate about – among them, leadership, transformation, people development, constructive collaboration, and integrity.

Prof Mohale was the Chief Executive Officer of Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) until June 2019 – a forum which brings together the leadership of South Africa’s most successful and influential big business and multinational investors to exchange ideas, facilitate effective dialogue with government and other stakeholders, and advocate for pro-business, economically sustainable policies and programmes. Prior to joining BLSA, he ended a distinguished term as Vice-President of Upstream and Chairman of Shell South Africa (Pty) Limited at the end of June 2017.

Prof Mohale, who originally studied to be a medical doctor, has had a distinguished career at the helm and in leadership roles of several major South African and multinational companies, including Otis Elevators, South African Airways, Sanlam Limited, and Drake & Scull Integrated Facilities Management. He currently serves on the boards of Swiss Re Africa Limited, Rand Merchant Bank Limited (RMB), and SBV.

He has an impressive track record of building successful companies, delivering results, and making significant advances in transformation in the companies he has been privileged to lead. Prof Mohale has been a vocal, courageous, and active proponent of transformation since the 1980s, and has played a leadership role in the Black Management Forum (BMF) for more than 33 years, where he was the president.

Recognition Awards

  • Awarded the Free Market Foundation’s Luminary Award for 2019 in recognition of the outstanding courage and integrity he has displayed through difficult times in his contribution to the business community and for defending the rights of all South Africans.
  • Winner of the Forbes Woman Africa Male Gender Advocate Award for 2019.
  • BMF Lifetime Achievement Award in March 2019.
  • Awarded the Momentum Friendship Blazer in 2015 in recognition of being the first RSA Nation Building Champion.
  • Winner of both the Country (RSA) and SADC Regional Titans – Building the Nation 2014 CEO Magazine Awards.
  • Conferred an Honorary Professorship in Marketing Management by the University of Pretoria, where he serves on their Advisory Council since 1992.
  • IPM CEO of the Year in 2012.
  • SA Facilities Management Association’s 2007 Personality of the Year.
  • Black Management Forum’s (BMF) 1997 Manager of the Year.
  • Received the Presidential Award in 2001 for his servanthood in South African industry and the economic empowerment of previously disadvantaged individuals.

The Chancellor of the University of the Free State is the ceremonial head of the university and confers degrees in its name. The Chancellor is appointed for a five-year term of office by Council.

Inauguration of Prof Bonang Mohale as the eight Chancellor 

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