Dr Theuns Eloff
Executive Director, FW de Klerk Foundation
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 was appointed as the Executive Director of the FW de Klerk Foundation in 2016.
Director, Centre for Unity in Diversity
Zohra Dawood has degrees in law and a Master’s degree in economic history. She worked for a decade as chief researcher for a land rights’ organisation. After 1994, she worked with the Department of Land Affairs and Agriculture, where she was involved in policy formulation and implementation, including negotiations and settlement of land claims. Ms Dawood has been an adviser to cabinet members and was an adviser to the Presidency of Nelson Mandela. She also worked for the Department of Defence in drafting its legislation and policies on land and environment. In 1999, she joined the Soros Network’s Open Society Foundations (OSF) and was appointed Executive Director. In addition to her responsibilities for South Africa and African programmes for the Open Society Foundations, she was appointed to lead OSF’s efforts in Indonesia as Regional Director, where she headed up an OSF entity that seeks to institutionalise democracy and an open society in the largest Muslim country in the world.
Ms Dawood has been actively engaged internationally in key issues related to human rights and international justice, social, economic and legal reform and the promotion of independent media. She has written for the media and presented widely at conferences and seminars and has been actively engaged in issues related to foreign policy and international relations, through the South African Foreign Policy Initiative, which she founded in 2011.
She has been a Professional Associate of the Zamyn since November 2013, which is an independent analytical organisation working at the intersection of socio-economic, political and cultural theory and practice.
Ms Dawood was asked to join AgangSA in 2013, under the leadership of Dr Mamphela Ramphele for a period of six months. This involved establishing a new political platform to strengthen democracy in South Africa.
Before joining the FW de Klerk Foundation as Director of the Centre for Unity in Diversity, Ms Dawood had stepped out of her comfort zone to assume the position of Business Development and Fundraising Executive at the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO). This entailed managing the business strategy and fundraising drive for the CPO, including addressing issues of diversity, building career paths for talented musicians and crucially ensuring the financial sustainability of the CPO, which has gone from an organisation perpetually in the red to one that is growing its endowment fund.
Acting Director, Centre for Constitutional Rights
Ms Christine Botha has a BSc. Medical Sciences degree and an LLB degree. She is an admitted attorney, with prior experience at a commercial law firm. Her areas of expertise include research on constitutional rights-related matters, with a keen interest in aspects impacting on the right to privacy, the rights of refugees, and health-related matters. Ms Botha further co-ordinates the CFCR’s ‘assistance to the public’ programme, which provides advice and assistance to members of the public with queries related to the realisation of their constitutional rights.
Legal Assistant, Centre for Constitutional Rights
Ms Rebecca Sibanda has an LL.B and an LL.M in International Law and Human Rights. Her areas of expertise include research on constitutional rights-related matters, with a specific focus on the freedom of expression. Ms Sibanda is one of the contributors to the CFCR’s flagship publication, the annual Human Rights Report Card, and co-ordinates the CFCR’s youth-related activities, including a bi-annual job-shadowing programme for Grade 11 learners interested in a legal career in the non-profit environment.