Thuli Madonsela is former Public Protector of South Africa and now a Professor at Stellenbosch University. She is a South African advocate and Law Trust Chair in Social Justice and Law Professor at the University of Stellenbosch since January 2018; where she conducts and coordinates social justice research and teaches constitutional and administrative law. She is also the founder of the Thuma Foundation, an independent democracy leadership and literacy social enterprise.
She served a 7 year term as the Public Protector of South Africa, a quasi-judicial administrative oversight body responsible for investigating and redressing maladministration, corruption, executive ethic violations and related improprieties in state affairs. Before she became the Public Protector, Prof Madonsela served in various leadership capacities in civil society and government, including, Full-Time Commissioner in the South African Law Reform Commission. An Advocate of the High Court of South Africa, she has been a lifelong activist on social justice, constitutionalism, human rights, good governance and the rule of law.
Named one of TIME 100's most influential people in the world, in 2014 and Forbes Africa Person of the Year 2016, Prof Madonsela is one of the drafters of South Africa's Constitution and co-architect of several laws that have sought to anchor South Africa's democracy. Among laws she helped draft, are the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, the Employment Equity Act and the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act.
Prof Madonsela is a co-architect and Founding Chairperson of the African Ombudsman Research Centre. She is also co-founder and one of the inaugural leaders of the South African Women Lawyers Association (SAWLA). She has a global reputation for integrity and fearlessness in enforcing accountability and justice in the exercise of public power and use of public resources. She also has a history of highlighting the importance of social justice and general inclusive enjoyment of the fruits of democracy in the pursuit of peace.
Her work has received national and global recognition, including several Lifetime Achievement Awards, including an award by the Premier of Gauteng and five honorary doctor of law degrees, the South African Law Society's Truth and Justice Award, The General Council of the Bar's The Sydney and Felicia Kentridge Award, Botswana Lawyers Association Honorary Membership of the Botswana Bar and the Commonwealth Lawyers Association's Truth and Justice Award. She is also a Paul Harris Fellow, recipient of Transparency International's Integrity Award, the German Africa Prize and Africa Anticorruption Crusader Award. A Tallberg Global Leader she spent a year at Harvard in 2017 as an Advanced Leadership Fellow.
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