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Mr Bongani Donald Mkhwanazi (Posthumous)

The Order of the Baobab in

Mr Bongani Donald Mkhwanazi (Posthumous) Awarded for:
His excellent contribution to the upliftment of black business. He was a doyen of black business and one of the foremost champions of the economic transformation of post-apartheid South Africa. His efforts had a commendable effect on social cohesion and nation-building.
Mr Bongani Donald Mkhwanazi was born on 11 April 11 1953 in Durban’s Claremont Township. Although his family wanted him to become a doctor, his passion was with law. He pursued a Bachelor of Business Administration degree at the University of Zululand.

After leaving university, Mkhwanazi worked in several South African companies for 12 years, reaching senior executive positions before going on to team up with Dr Nthato Motlana to found South Africa’s pre-eminent black empowerment company Methold, now called New Africa Investments Limited.

While developing his business empire, Mkhwanazi continued to be an active member of the African National Congress (ANC), which he joined in his youth. In 1990 he became the ANC’s senior economic adviser.

He worked closely with former President Thabo Mbeki on international business relations until 1993.

Mkhwanazi also co-chaired the finance and investment working group of the USA/South Africa Business Development Committee, part of the team set up to promote trade between the United States and South Africa by Mr Mbeki and then US Vice President Al Gore.

Mkhwanazi was the chairperson of the anti-apartheid debt committee that made presentations to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1997.

To many black business people, he was a business mentor who never compromised on business principles. He was affectionately known as the father of black economic empowerment and ‘a corporate guerrilla’.

When he passed on in 2016, Mkhwanazi left behind a legacy of selfless business leadership and pioneering spirit.