At its meeting of 1 February 2016, the Board of Trustees of the FW de Klerk Foundation decided to appoint the present Chairman, Dr Theuns Eloff, as Executive Director of the Foundation with effect from 1 July 2016. At the same meeting it elected the present Executive Director, Dave Steward, as the new Chairman of the Board of Trustees, with effect from the same date - after he had announced his intention of stepping down as Executive Director after 17 years in the post.
Mr Steward will continue to play a supportive role in the Foundation’s activities - particularly in the work of its recently established Centre for Unity in Diversity.
Former President FW de Klerk will continue to play an active role as Chairman Emeritus of the Foundation.
Dr Theuns Eloff
Dr Eloff was born in Potchefstroom in 1955 and obtained a Master’s Degree in Theology at Potchefstroom University for CHE. He served for six years as a minister of the Gereformeerde Church in Brooklyn, Pretoria and during this period obtained his Doctorate in Theology.
Following his participation in a meeting with ANC representatives in Dakar in July 1987, he left the ministry and joined the Consultative Business Movement (CBM). After his appointment as Executive Director of the CBM in 1990, he was involved in the process that led to the National Peace Convention and to the National Peace Accord in September, 1991. He later served as the head of the Process and Secretarial Services of the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) and subsequently acted as Head of the Administration of the Multiparty Negotiation Process.
In the run-up to the first non-racial national elections in April 1994, Dr Eloff was seconded to the Transitional Executive Council as Deputy Executive Director. In February 1995 he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the National Business Initiative for Growth, Development and Democracy.
On 1 January 2002 Dr Eloff was appointed Vice-Chancellor and Rector of his old university, Potchefstroom University for CHE. When the university merged with the University of the North West in Mafeking in 2004 to form Northwest University, Dr Eloff became the new university’s first Vice-Chancellor and Rector. He served in this capacity until 2015.
Dr Eloff joined the Board of Trustees of the FW de Klerk Foundation in 2006 and was elected Chairman in 2015, following the retirement of FW de Klerk.
Dave Steward was born in Nairobi, Kenya on 23 May 1945. He was educated in Canada, the United Kingdom and at Stellenbosch University and UNISA. He joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1966 and served in Canberra, Ottawa and at the United Nations in New York, where he was appointed Ambassador in 1981. Between 1983 and 1985 Steward played an active role in the negotiations on the independence of Namibia and in developments in Southern Angola.
He served as Head of the South African Communication Service (originally the Bureau for Information) between 1986 and 1992, when he was appointed Chief Government Spokesman and Director-General in the Office of President FW de Klerk. He continued to serve as the Head of Deputy President De Klerk’s Office until the National Party withdrew from the Government of National Unity in June, 1996.
Steward helped to establish the FW de Klerk Foundation in 1999 and has acted as its Executive Director and as a trustee ever since then.
Issued by the FW de Klerk Foundation