Wits Graduation Ceremony: Former Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela will on Tuesday receive an honorary doctorate in law from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) at the Graduation Ceremony for the Faculty of Commerce, Law, and Management.
The university announced that Madonsela is one of six recipients of honorary doctorate degrees in Wits’ first graduation cluster for 2017.
Wits University Graduation Ceremony for the Faculty of Commerce, Law, and Management runs from 23 March to 31 March. More than 5,000 students will be capped during the grand ceremony.
Wits senior communications officer Schalk Mouton also disclosed that other recipients of honorary doctorate degrees include business leaders Patrice Motsepe and Adrian Gore, Justice Carole Lewis and Professor Eddie Webster.
An advocate of the High Court of South Africa, human rights and constitutional lawyer, Thuli Madonsela is a seasoned administrative investigator, equality expert, and policy specialist with over two and a half decades of post legal qualification experience.
She holds a BA Law (UNISWA,1987), an LLB (Wits 1990), LLD Honoris Causa (Fort Hare, 2014) and LLD Honoris Causa (Stellenbosch, 2015). When Thuli Madonsela’s name was forwarded for the job of Public Protector, no single member of Parliament voted against her. And as a member of the African National Congress who had helped draft the Constitution, she was considered a good bet.
And throughout her stay in office, it was crystal clear that the strong-willed protector lived up to expectation and also exemplified the idea that what really counts in the pursuit of success are resolve, determination, assertiveness, and honesty; as opposed to gender or sex.
Thuli flawlessly straightened up the ConCourt case on President Zuma’s Nkandla home upgrade – which is believed to be one of South Africa’s outstanding cases and of course, a plus in her career and future roles.
This singular historic achievement will for a lifetime single her out as a staunch defender of South Africa’s constitutional values. She is currently working on an autobiography which is expected to detail the various roles she played as South Africa’s Public Protector from 2009 and 2016.
The yet-to-be-released book has already garnered the endorsement and approval of Publisher Pan Macmillan South Africa. Pan Macmillian announced on Friday that it had acquired worldwide rights for Madonsela’s book. While the memoir, as gathered would be released next year, Madonsela has expressed gratitude for the opportunity.
Born in Johannesburg in 1962, her parents, Bafana and Nomasonto, were informal traders. She grew up in Soweto. Her family originates from Swaziland. She attended Evelyn Baring High School in Nhlangano in Swaziland.
She has to her credit lots of unprecedented national and international recognitions, which include her being recognized by Time Magazine as one of the world’s most influential people in 2014.
Earlier this year, Thuli Madonsela opened up about her dream for South Africa in an opinion piece.
Therein she wrote: “I have a dream that the people of SA will soon live in harmony and friendship anchored in shared prosperity, broader social justice and human dignity for all with no exceptions based on race, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation, nationality or any other characteristic of human diversity…..”
In June 2015, Madonsela together with struggle stalwart and law pioneer Ahmed Kathrada and Deputy Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court Dikgang Moseneke were awarded honorary degree (Doctors of Law) by the University of Cape Town.
In November 2016, at the Forbes Africa Person of the Year (POY) Award, she took the honours as the winner of the prestigious Award in her category.
Thuli left a remarkable and an indelible footprint on the sands of time and in the Judiciary arm, in particular. It will be difficult to win an argument on her selfless, unbiased and dedicated service to the “rainbow nation”.