Thohoyandou – Adv Mojanku Gumbi has been appointed as the University of Venda’s new Chancellor with effect from 01 January 2020 to 31 December 2024. The appointment of Adv Gumbi was approved by Council at its virtual meeting held on Friday, 22 May 2020.
She takes over the reigns from the former Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Kgalema Motlanthe who has served two terms in the position.
The University’s Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Bernard Nthambeleni, says the University is grateful for the first time to have a female Chancellor. It is an honour to have a woman with the stature of Adv Gumbi at the helm of UNIVEN. “We look forward to her leadership and guidance in the years to come. Her engagement with the University will certainly stand us in good stead,” says Dr Nthambeleni.
Dr Nthambeleni added that Adv Gumbi joins the University of Venda at the right time when the University is shifting towards a new strategic direction which is intended to position the University for impact and relevance. The University’s new strategic direction for 2021-2025 will be effective as from 2021.
Adv Mojanku Gumbi is the founder of Mojanku Gumbi Advisory Services, a Johannesburg-based business advisory firm that maintains a strategic partnership with the Washington-based Albright Stonebridge Group.
She was a Special Advisor to the former South African President Thabo Mbeki from 1999 to 2008. From 1994 to 1999, she was an Advisor to then Deputy President Mbeki in the Mandela administration. During this time, she spearheaded South Africa’s economic diplomacy, ensuring a global presence for South African companies. She was involved in peace-making initiatives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Comoros, Sudan, Lesotho, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Iran and the Middle East.
In addition to her role, Adv Gumbi advised on domestic policy issues including the reform of the local healthcare industry, the expansion of South African industry to the rest of Africa and the world, banking and mining sector reforms.
Adv Gumbi was one of South Africa’s principal negotiators at the Seattle and Doha rounds of the World Trade Organization, and served as President Mbeki’s personal representative to the G8, where she played a leading role in the establishment of the G5 Group (Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa). She served also as President Mbeki’s personal representative in the Progressive Governance Network. Adv Gumbi continues to advise on a number of African issues.
Prior to serving in the Presidency, Adv Gumbi was an Attorney from 1984 and an Advocate from 1993. In these capacities, she defended political activists from all political organizations in South Africa. She acted as the Head of the Adjudication Secretariat of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) during South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994, bearing the ultimate responsibility within the IEC for the resolution of all disputes arising out of those elections.
Adv Gumbi holds Law degrees from the South African Universities of the North (now University of Limpopo), and Witwatersrand, and a certificate in Trial Advocacy from the University of Texas in Austin. She serves and has served on the boards of many companies, trusts and philanthropic associations including the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, the Open Society Foundation, African Bank, LexisNexis, PPC, the Southern African Political and Economic Trust (SAPES), the Black Lawyers Association and the Thabo Mbeki Foundation.
She served as a member of Council of the then Technikon Witwatersrand, which is part of the University of Johannesburg, and the Council of the then University of the North, under the Chancellorship of President Nelson Mandela and Minister Kader Asmal as Chairperson of Council. She served as the Ombud of the University of Johannesburg.
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