09 September 2021 | Story Dr Nitha Ramnath

The university of the Free State is pleased to invite you to a lunchtime webinar titled, The impact of political influences on university governance structures
The political turmoil that disrupted different regions in South Africa in July 2021 has resulted in a renewed focus on the collective responsibility of higher education institutions to assist in solving the key challenges of poverty, inequality, unemployment, and violence in societies. We believe a specific area that needs to be explored more deeply, is how political complexities influence university governance structures. Join our panel of experts for what promises to be an insightful discussion.


Vuyo Mvoko
Anchor: SABC


Prof Mohamed Saleem Badat
Research Professor: College of Humanities, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Prof Thuli Madonsela
Law Trust Chair, Professor: Social Justice and Law,  Stellenbosch University 

Prof Chitja Twala
Vice-Dean: Faculty of the Humanities, University of the Free State

Prof Hermann Giliomee
Internationally renowned historian
Date: Wednesday, 22 September 2021
Time: 14:30
RSVP: Alicia Pienaar, pienaaran1@ufs.ac.za by 20 September 2021

Biographies of facilitator and speakers:

Mvoko is the anchor of The Watchdog, a prime-time current affairs show that attracts the biggest names in politics and public policy. It airs weekdays 20:00-21:00 on the SABC News channel (404 on the DSTV platform).
A seasoned journalist with almost 30 years of experience, he previously occupied several senior editorial positions, including stints as political editor for broadcasters such as the SABC and ENCA. He has also written columns for publications such as Business Day, Forbes Africa, and The Herald. 

Mvoko holds BA and MA degrees, and as part of the ‘SABC 8’, was the co-recipient of the 2016 Nat Nakasa Award for ‘courageous and fearless journalism’.

Saleem Badat is Research Professor in the College of Humanities, University of KwaZulu-Natal. He is the former vice-chancellor of the university currently known as Rhodes University and was the first chief executive officer of the Council on Higher Education. Between 2014 and 2018, he was the programme director of International Higher Education and Strategic Projects at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in New York. 

Saleem’s books include The Forgotten People: Political Banishment under Apartheid, Black Student Politics: Higher Education and Apartheid, and Black Man, You are on Your Own; the co-authored National Policy and a Regional Response in South African Higher Education, and the co-edited Apartheid Education and Popular Struggles in South Africa. His book chapters, journal articles, policy reports, and newspaper opinion pieces concern questions of equity, redress, and social justice in and through universities, and the decolonisation and transformation of universities in colonised societies. 

Prof Thulisile ‘Thuli’ Madonsela is the Law Trust Chair in Social Justice and a Law professor at Stellenbosch University. She is also the founder of the Thuma Foundation, an independent democracy leadership and literacy public benefit organisation, and is a widely published author.
A multiple award-winning legal professional with more than 50 national and global awards, and an advocate of the High Court of South Africa, Prof Madonsela served a seven-year term as the Public Protector of South Africa. She is credited for transforming the institution by enhancing its effectiveness in promoting good governance and integrity, and anticorruption in state affairs. Prof Madonsela has a global reputation for integrity, and strongly advocates for fearlessly enforcing accountability and justice in the exercise of public power and the use of public resources. 

Named one of the TIME100 most influential people in the world, Prof Madonsela is one of the drafters of the South African Constitution, and co-architect of several laws that have sought to anchor South Africa’s democracy. Among the laws she has helped draft are the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act (PEPUDA), the Employment Equity Act (EEA), and the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act. She is also a co-architect and founding Chairperson of the African Ombudsman Research Centre and is also co-founder and one of the inaugural leaders of the South African Women Lawyers Association (SAWLA). 

Among numerous accolades, Prof Madonsela is a Paul Harris Fellow, recipient of Transparency International’s Integrity Award, the German Africa Prize, and African Anticorruption Crusader Award. She also spent a year at Harvard as an Advanced Leadership Fellow and is a Tallberg Global Leader, among others.


Prof Chitja Twala

Prof Chitja Twala is Associate Professor (Department of History) and Vice-Dean (Faculty of the Humanities) at the University of the Free State (UFS). He holds a PhD (History) from the same university. Twala has a substantial publication record on the history of liberation movements. He is the author of eight chapters (co-author of two) in The Road to Democracy in South Africa: Vol. 4 (1970-1990) and the Road to Democracy in South Africa: Vol. 6 (1990-1996), published in 2010, 2013, and 2019 respectively. He is the recipient of a Mellon Foundation grant and a National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) grant.  He had the following visiting/research fellowships: Harvard University (USA); Kwame Nkrumah Chair in the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana (Accra); and the University of California, Los Angeles (USA).
Hermann Giliomee was born in Sterkstroom in 1938 and grew up in the Western Cape. He first taught History at Stellenbosch University and then Political Studies at the University of Cape Town. He has been a visiting fellow at Yale University, the University of Cambridge, and the Woodrow Wilson Centre in Washington DC. He has often published opinion pieces in South African newspapers. He is married to Annette van Coller. 

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