Dr Mathews Phosa (2009 - 2011)
The axiom - "changes in life" - are the only constant known factors that ring true in the minds of so many South Africans today.
Only 15 years ago, our country was deprived of a true democracy - hundreds of thousands of people were denied their basic rights to life that was free and fair - many black people had no say regarding the outcome of their enslaved lives, neither protection from a government that dictated law and regulation to oppress the poorest of poor.
Indeed, whilst some countries in the world stood by and silently condoned the behaviour of a corrupt government, many others rallied support against the oppressed people of South Africa and applied tough economic and diplomatic sanctions as a means to protest against the unruly behaviour of South Africa's past undemocratic government which was rife for so many years. This "tough love" was the world's manner of showing its disapproval for the poor governance and lack of accountability that prevailed.
Professor Shirley Zinn (2009 - 2011)
CGF Research Institute (Pty) Ltd has made a name for itself, since its inception in March 2004, as an organisation that is serious about causing change in the mindsets of business leaders when it comes to matters associated with good corporate governance. In so many instances, the words “good governance” quickly slips off the tongue from directors who may not fully appreciate the full impact and meaning, not least the underlying governance complexities associated to their businesses. In this regard, CGF goes about its daily tasks to assist business leaders understand the broader context of the topic and that the governance process is not culminated in a single event.
Good business governance and its practices requires - as a process - a renewed understanding of business that is conducted fairly, business which is unencumbered by hidden agendas and the people who drive the business must be willing to accept their responsibility when things go wrong. These business values can only be found amongst leaders who, at their fundamental roots, are solid honest individuals - they have a heart, mind and soul which care for the greater good of the society in which they conduct the affairs of their business.
Devi Sankaree Govender (2010 - 2012)
There’s no doubt the axiom ‘dynamite comes in small packages’ holds true for CGF Research Institute (Pty) Ltd and its growing team of dedicated employees, who have established a strong market presence in the area of governance, risk and compliance reporting. The company has been in operation since March 2004 and has seen a steadily growing customer base, with strong business strategic alliances.
Expectedly -- and within the arena of corporate governance matters -- CGF is placed in a position to assist its clients to making some very important, and often strategic decisions wherein governance issues are raised. In this regard, whilst CGF is cited as a leading governance research establishment, there are times when the most well researched material cannot provide the answers sought after by our member clients and partners. This is typically when one needs to apply the ‘old fashioned brain’ approach, which somehow still manages to override the most complex computer systems. It is in this vein that CGF attaches its value to the loyal support of our Honorary and Corporate Patrons, each who play a special role within CGF and serve in an advisory capacity when called upon by CGF’s executive management.
Accordingly, we are delighted to announce that the well-known investigative journalist, Ms Devi Sankaree Govender has accepted an Honorary Patron role within CGF, and who joins the ranks of Professor Shirley Zinn and Dr Mathews Phosa. Devi is certainly no stranger in the media, and whilst she has been a familiar face on M-Net’s award winning investigative programme, Carte Blanche, we are certain to receive much assistance regarding her invaluable business insights and experience which will bring a new and dynamic dimension to CGF’s business of governance desktop reporting.
J Michael Judin (2011 - 2013)
CGF is honored to have Michael Judin amongst our ranks and believe his presence will bring tremendous value to our business and all its constituents. His wealth of knowledge in the governance and legal arenas, including the positioning of his law firm and its associations with various international law firms, tax consultants are quite unique and difficult to match.
Michael Judin, is not only known for his long standing relationship with the Institute of Directors of Southern Africa, but also as an iconic attorney and director in one of South Africa’s premier boutique law firms, Goldman Judin Inc, which was established in Johannesburg in 1936. He obtained his qualification in law from the University of Witwatersrand and commenced practice in 1969.
Michael is a member of the Committee who was responsible for the preparation of the King III Code and Report on Corporate Governance, a Commissioner of the Small Claims Court and Legal Advisor to, and a Director of, the American Chamber of Commerce in South Africa. He is a member of the International Bar Association and an Associate Member of the American Bar Association.
Bernard Peter Agulhas (2011 - 2013)
In the contemporary environment there is the undeniable need for organisations to be adequately informed and equipped in order for them to meet the increasing demands to adopt and implement sound governance practices.
This includes benchmarking against both local and international best practices. The significance of having good governance practiced by the fiduciaries found within the nations’ leadership of both governmental and corporate spheres cannot be downplayed. These individuals fly high the flag for good governance and set an example to encourage those around them.
CGF strives to support and advise its constituents to function soundly and sustainably, in line with good governance practices. Central to this is looking at Corporate Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) as related to the strategy, people, processes and technologies of an organisation.
This is no small mission and assisting CGF in its role as educator are key individuals who have been carefully selected to stand as honorary Patrons. CGF regards its honorary Patrons as iconic people; each one being highly regarded for the important contribution they make to society as well as for their ideals and their ethical leadership. The honorary Patrons exemplify accountable citizenship and serve as models of good governance.
In partnering with CGF, these individuals play an essential part in assisting CGF’s campaign to see more people and organisations evolving to embrace and effectively implement sound governance practice. They support CGF in its drive to ensure that good governance is laid down as a strong foundation within both the public and private sector. CGF is proud to announce that Bernard Agulhas has joined the ranks of its honorary Patrons, namely Dr. Mathews Phosa, Professor Shirley Zinn, Ms Devi Sankaree Govender and Mr Michael Judin.
Bernard’s extensive knowledge and experience, particularly related to the field of auditing, allows him to provide -- among other contributions -- an invaluable oversight function to CGF.
Tina Eboka (2011 - 2013)
As more external thought processes and inputs continue to be applied by the Honorary Patrons within CGF, so the applicability and demand for further services continues to grow within CGF, thereby allowing our company to increase the value we provide our esteemed client base.
It therefore goes without saying that the selection of our honorary Patrons -- each who serve a two year period -- is a critical component for CGF, as well as our client base. Not only is the process of searching for honorary Patrons an important feature of CGF’s strategy, it is also challenging to ensure that there is an excellent fit between the selected person’s experience and knowledge, which must compliment CGF’s own requirements and of course those of our clients. Needless to say, when Tina Eboka’s profile was presented to fulfill our woman’s position as honorary Patron, our executive management team was simply bowled over. Ms Eboka’s credentials are literally world class, with an academic background that covers an MBA in Business Operations and Project Management which she obtained from Philadelphia University, in the USA. She also obtained a BSc in Textile Engineering from the same university. Prior to this, Tina also received a BSc in Applied Maths and Industrial Engineering from the State University of New York, as well as attending the Senior Executive Programme at the Harvard Business School. From 1984 to 1986 she held the positions of mathematics adjunct professor at Philadelphia University.
Wendy Luhabe (2012 - 2014)
CGF is very proud to announce that our next Honorary Patron is Ms Wendy Luhabe -- a social entrepreneur -- and who has become an inspiration for many business people not only in South Africa, but also the rest of the continent.
Wendy needs no introduction to the people of South Africa; and her drive, energy and passion for a brighter future for our beloved country is well known and written about in many journals, books and publications. Some even believe her business and philanthropic achievements are already written in the history books of South Africa. Wendy is a pioneer and a living legend, but still so remarkably humble as she continues to tackle the challenges associated with children’s education particularly in the rural areas and the empowerment of women in business. Over the past 20 years, Wendy has set an exemplary leadership example as she served in various directorship or chairperson positions on some of the county’s most noteworthy boards, gaining extensive experience in many diverse industries of Public and Private sector companies.
It is therefore no surprise that Wendy was awarded as one of the 50 Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World and Global Leader of Tomorrow of the World Economics Forum in 2006, and has continued to scoop many more international accolades. Her long list of academic and business achievements is truly remarkable; and CGF is enriched by having Wendy amongst its ranks. She is a great custodian of ethics and honour, and her authentic style of leadership will certainly add great value to CGF, its Patrons and constituencies.
Professor Jonathan Jansen (2012 - 2014)
As we reflect upon our days of school or university and those long hours of study, most of us may not have pleasant memories over this period of our lives. This may have been quite different if we’d had the caliber of Professor Jonathan David Jansen at the front of our classroom or campus. Professor Jansen, who is also well known for his passion and commitment to transformation in South Africa, is an extra-ordinary teacher, lecturer and leader and he has every reason to be proud of his numerous accolades, both locally and abroad. Upon first meeting this fine individual, one is immediately drawn by his love for people and his humility. Many thousands of people have been personally enriched by his pragmatic approach to life’s challenges. Whilst Professor Jansen is a renowned academic across the world -- in his role which he still has today as the Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State -- he is notably recognised for the leading role he played when his university was awarded the World Universities Forum Award for Best Practices in Higher Education which praised the racial integration of the student community.
Being a bold leader in the field of higher learning, Professor Jansen is not known to be quiet, especially when things go wrong, or make no sense. Through his newspaper column, as well as the countless media interviews, Professor Jansen has become a strong light and beacon for many, providing sound advice supported by practical solutions and morally grounded values which are not only intended for the world of academia, but indeed for many of the challenges faced by South Africa today. Of course his approach is unashamedly direct; and his problem solving underpins the principles of good governance which must be applied at all levels of our society, as well as in business.
That said, given the nature of the environment in which CGF Research Institute (Pty) Ltd operates -- where the company researches and deals with many and varying types of governance matters -- we are delighted to announce that Professor Jansen has accepted an Honorary Patron position in our company. To this extent, the additional value Professor Jansen brings to CGF is invaluable, especially when his academic and business skills and experience are added to those of the broader team within CGF.
Amy Kleinhans-Curd (2013 - 2015)
In recent years, South Africa has been known across the world for its remarkable ability to conquer some of the most amazing feats known to mankind; and more specifically those related to uniting people across racial lines. But with such achievements, one must not forget the many personal sacrifices and the pain thousands of people endured to achieve this remarkable transformation witnessed in 1994, when the previous apartheid government unbanned the African National Congress (ANC) and set Nelson Mandela free after 27 years of incarceration.
At the height of this era, there were many people who were forced to leave the country and live in exile; and then there were those who stayed behind and fought their battle for the freedom of South Africa in other ways. Undoubtedly, there are many untold stories and unsung heroes; but one that South Africans probably are not aware of happened on an international stage in Sun City on 12 December 1992, and was spear-headed by none other than our very own first non-white winner of Miss South Africa -- Ms. Amy Kleinhans -- when she was placed forth runner-up to the Miss World Title.
What many people still may not know about this remarkable woman is that she out-rightly refused to represent South Africa with the old Republic of South Africa flag when she was asked to fly the flag on an international podium; lamenting that it did not represent all the people of South Africa. Rightly so. Notwithstanding her tender age, the maturity and wisdom Amy demonstrated that memorable evening did not only capture the world’s attention, it also prompted Madiba to phone her that same evening, thanking her for her immense courage to also tackle head on the racial oppressors in South Africa. That evening, Amy took a white flag onto the international stage; symbolically her flag represented peace and hope for a new South Africa which happened two years later. Of course, Amy knew she could not defy her true values which had been ingrained, and intellectually she applied her honesty about South Africa which became yet another battle won for the sake of our country’s democracy.
It is with immense pride that CGF welcomes Mrs. Amy Kleinhans-Curd as an Honorary Patron in our company.
Professor Steven Friedman (2014 - 2016)
CGF welcomes Professor Steven Friedman who joins the prestigious ranks of our Honorary Patrons.
The Honorary Patron appointments -- which are rotated every two years -- have had a positive effect upon the governance services being offered by CGF to its broad range of clients, which extends well beyond our research and reporting. To this extent, the additional value Professor Friedman brings to CGF is invaluable, especially considering his first class experience regarding the study of democracy, which is inseparable from the principles for good governance (be this in business and civil society).
Professor Friedman was born on March 31, 1953 and is a well-known academic, newspaper columnist, widely quoted public intellectual, activist, former trade unionist and journalist. His book Building Tomorrow Today: African Workers in Trade Unions 1970-1984 has been described as a classic South African text. He has written regular opinion pieces for Thought Leader and The New Age and currently writes a weekly column for Business Day. During the South African 1994 elections, he was appointed as the National Head of the Independent Electoral Commission's Information Analysis Department.
ADV THULI MADONSELA (2015 - 2017)
Advocate Thulisile (‘Thuli’) Nomkhosi Madonsela is no stranger to millions of people across the world, and she has been a part of South Africa’s political landscape for many years. Given her notable legal background and vast experience as a Human Rights lawyer and Equality expert, Thuli fulfilled an instrumental role in the Constitutional Assembly in drafting South Africa’s new Constitution during the period that saw Tata Nelson Mandela become the first black president of South Africa.
Thuli is best known for her strong values and resilient belief in good governance, which is why she is notably the most recognised Public Protector to date in South Africa. It is because of her solid standing as a South African citizen -- and one who as a public servant has fearlessly tackled corruption -- that she has become one of the most admired women leaders across the globe. Whilst her ways are quiet and humble, and always respectful, Thuli is described by Oprah Winfrey, the Time magazine and many others as a “woman with a backbone of steel”. Amongst her many accolades, Thuli was nominated as South Africa’s person of the year and was featured in Time magazine's 2014 List of 100 Most Influential People in the World.
As one of the world’s most influential people -- and right on our doorstep -- CGF is truly honoured that Advocate Thuli Madonsela has agreed to join the prestigious ranks of CGF’s Honorary Patrons. The additional value Thuli brings to CGF is invaluable, especially considering her values of human dignity and equality, which are among the founding values of our democracy.
Thuli obtained her Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Swaziland in 1987, and her LLB in 1990 from the University of the Witwatersrand. She was awarded a Doctor of Laws degree, LLD Honoris Causa (Fort Hare, 2014) and LLD Honoris Causa from the University of Stellenbosch on 26 March 2015.
Indeed it is with great pride that we welcome Advocate Thuli Madonsela in our midst, being notably one of the finest ambassadors of good governance in the world.
EDWARD CHR KIESWETTER (2015 - 2017)
Finding ‘agile’ individuals who understand the importance of balancing rules with organisational objectives is one of CGF’s primary goals when selecting our Honorary Patrons. Accordingly, we are delighted that Edward Chr Kieswetter has agreed to join the prestigious ranks of CGF’s Honorary Patrons. In governance terms, Mr Kieswetter is truly a ‘rare find’ and knowing he has worked with the very best leaders in government and business, makes him unique in many respects.
Edward has notable credentials as an academic with three Masters degrees in science, commerce and cognitive development (M.Ed, Executive MBA and an M Com (Tax)(cum laude) behind his name, including a list of fine business achievements at Eskom and the First Rand Bank. The South African public really only got to hear about this remarkable leader from the days when he worked at the South African Revenue Service (‘SARS’). Edward joined SARS in 2005 to implement the Large Business Centre designed to serve large taxpayers and wealthy individuals. During his tenure at SARS, he had the opportunity to work with iconic leaders such as Pravin Gordhan (who was then the Commissioner of SARS) and Trevor Manual (who was then the Minister of Finance). Some eighteen months later, he was appointed as the Chief Operating Officer and was responsible for managing SARS’ core operations, including leading their Strategic Services cluster which was responsible for Strategy and Corporate Planning, Revenue, Reputation and Brand Management.
Upon leaving SARS as one of their three Deputy Commissioners, Edward joined Alexander Forbes in 2010 as their Group Chief Executive. Amongst Edward’s busy schedule, he is also the Chancellor at the Da Vinci Institute and a Non-Executive Director of Shoprite Group Holdings. He was a previous Vice Chair of the Free State University Council and a previous board member of the International Accounting Education Standards Board.
We welcome Edward to CGF with great pride knowing full well that his business experience, governance and ethical values will bring great benefits to CGF and our respective constituencies.
CHRISTINE RAMON (BCOMPT, BCOMPT (HONS), CA(SA)) (2015-2017)
There is no denying that business in modern times has become immensely challenging, and this is exacerbated by amongst other; complex financial reporting, burdensome legislation, greater demands for public transparency and disclosure, as well as increased local and global supply chain requirements. With these factors in mind, it is hardly surprising to see a massive shift in organsational structures where the role of Chartered Accountants has increased significantly in numbers, as well as their positions in hierarchical structures and importance. As boards have become accountability “hot-spots”, by not having a person on the board that can analyse the organisation’s financial information -- and prepare such information for shareholders as well as the broader stakeholder community -- is frankly suicidal.
At CGF we are constantly on the lookout for unique individuals who not only have impeccable business credentials, but more so where they have demonstrated their business skills which is undeniably backed by good governance principles. It is these unique people whom CGF selects as its Honorary Patrons. Accordingly, it gives CGF great pleasure to announce that Ms. Christine Ramon (BCompt, BCompt (Hons), CA(SA)) has agreed to join the prestigious ranks of CGF’s Honorary Patrons.
Christine’s illustrious career in South Africa has been nothing short of a phenomenal success. Her dedication and hard work has undeniably earned her much admiration amongst her peers -- both locally and abroad -- and in 2007, the World Economic Forum recognised her as a Young Global Leader. Christine obtained a Bachelor of Accounting Science and Honours degrees from UNISA in 1988 and 1989, respectively and by 1990, she became a Chartered Accountant. In 1999, she attended the Senior Executive Programme at Harvard Business School in conjunction with Wits Business School. Amongst her many notable business achievements, including the various boards that she occupies as non-executive director; Christine’s current position as the Chief Financial Officer of AngloGold Ashanti Ltd since October 2014, was preceded by her position as Chief Financial Officer of Sasol Ltd. Christine held an executive directorship at Sasol from 2006 to 2013, and prior to this, she was CEO of Johnnic Holdings Limited, having previously served as Financial Director. Christine also serves as the Deputy Chair of the Financial Reporting Standards Council in South Africa, and was previously on the Financial Reporting Investigation Panel, an advisory panel of the JSE Limited.
We are honoured to have Christine Ramon in our ranks, and we expect through her presence and business influence, that she will raise the already high levels of business excellence within CGF even further.
RUSSELL LOUBSER (M.COM (STATISTICS), CA (SA)) (2016-2018)
When one ponders the talent of South Africa, and even some of its iconic leaders that could play a leading role to assist the political landscape to regain the confidence in the country, there are a number of names that resonate. Interestingly these people are not media attention seekers; and they have the power and the means to assist reshape the strategic direction of the country. One such name is Russell Loubser, and who is best known for the role he fulfilled as the former Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) Chief Executive Officer, a position he held for fifteen years. Besides the incredible leadership Russell provided the JSE, including South African listed businesses at large, he also conceptualised and steered the JSE through a demutualisation and converted the JSE into a public company which was listed in June 2006.
The initial tradable value of the JSE on 01 July 2005 was approximately R250 million, and when Russell embarked upon an early ‘retirement’, the market capitalisation of the JSE was estimated at approximately R6 billion, with zero borrowings and approximately R1 billion in cash on the balance sheet. Described simply as a person who “tells it like it is”, Russell is exactly the type of no nonsense leader -- who is firmly rooted in ethical governance practices -- which South Africa is in desperate need of.
Under Russell’s leadership, the improvements produced by the JSE to the South African financial markets were recognised on an international scale. In the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual Global Competitiveness Report for 2010-2011, 2011-2012 and 2012-2013; South Africa was rated the best in the world for “Regulation of securities exchanges”. In the WEF’s 2009-2010 Global Competitiveness Report, SA was rated number two in the world, and number five in the world in the 2007-2008 WEF Report in the same category. Without the necessary leadership, including the vision which was shared by a team of employees who supported their leader, these remarkable achievements would never have been possible.
With the world having become far more demanding for better practices of governance, including activists and informed stakeholders increasing the call for ethical leadership and more transparent reporting; Russell’s acceptance of a CGF Honorary Patronship makes perfect sense.
Russell’s unfaltering career in South Africa has truly been remarkable; each position he occupied found a common thread to mutually fulfil the various functions that were expected of Russell. Besides his years at the JSE, he was also the kingpin behind the JSE acquiring two other licensed securities exchanges in South Africa, namely the South African Futures Exchange (Safex) and the Bond Exchange of South Africa. This transaction totally transformed the equity settlement process in South Africa by computerising the entire process. Indeed, the success of this massive undertaking was achieved by the JSE being integrally involved in funding and creating Strate Limited -- the SA Central Securities Depository (CSD) – which has been rated as a world-class CSD. Expectedly, Russell has occupied a number of board and advisory positions over the last number of years, some of these include being a member of the King Committee on Corporate Governance for fifteen years, as well as being a member of the Securities Regulation Panel in South Africa for the same period of time. He also served on the Board of Directors of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) for approximately thirteen years as well as chaired their Working Committee for two years. Prior to Russell’s tenure at the JSE, he fulfilled various directorships in the South African financial services sector; and so it comes as no surprise that his current non-executive directorships are held with Strate, FirstRand, Rand Merchant Bank and First National Bank. He is also a Council Member of University of Pretoria and an extraordinary Professor in Mercantile Law (University of Pretoria).
There is no doubt regarding the incredible insight and value Russell brings to CGF’s leadership and this will reinforce the business of good governance. But more importantly -- through his presence -- and with the additional support of all CGF’s patrons, an even stronger and more united force is at work to improve the South African socio-economic landscape and its ongoing sustainability. The additional value Russell brings to CGF is vital, especially considering his role in the King Committee on Corporate Governance and his ability to analyse and advise on complex governance issues.
CGF is honoured to have Russell join the ranks of our professional team. We look forward to assisting more organisations and its leadership to build a new generation of admirable, and ethical leaders whose aspirations are nothing less than placing the legitimate interests of their country and their organisation’s above their own.