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Professor Wiseman Lumkile Nkuhlu (1944 - )

The Order of the Baobab in

Professor Wiseman Lumkile Nkuhlu (1944 - ) Awarded for:
His excellent contribution to the struggle against apartheid and contributing to the African Renaissance.

Profile of Professor Wiseman Lumkile Nkuhlu

Professor Wiseman Lumkile Nkuhlu was born on 5 February 1944 in Cala, in the Eastern Cape. He is married to Nondima (née Mahlulo) and they have four children.

He studied at the universities of Fort Hare, Cape Town (UCT) and New York and completed a B Com, CTA and MBA. He served his articles with Hoek Wiehahn and Cross and qualified as a chartered accountant (CA) in 1976.

During his youth, professor Nkuhlu attended political meetings and was a member of a banned organisation, which led to his arrest. He spent two years on Robben Island after which he worked as a clerk at the Lorraine gold-mine. He completed his schooling via correspondence and in 1967, was able to register for a B Com degree at the University of Fort Hare. In 1976, he qualified as the firstblack CA in South Africa.

From 1976 to 1990, Nkuhlu combined his role in the auditing profession with lecturing at the University of Fort Hare initially and later at the University of Transkei. He served as principal and vice chancellor of the University of Transkei from 1987 to 1991. Nkuhlu also played an important role in the area of socio-economic development in South Africa.

Nkuhlu was appointed the first chairperson of the Council on Higher Education (CHE). He served in this position for four years, from1998 to 2002. The CHE played a major role in the restructuring of universities and technikons.

From 1989 to 2000, Nkuhlu served as a director of a number of major companies, including Standard Bank, South African Breweries,Old Mutual, Tongaat Hulett, BMW and JCI. He also played a leading role in development as chief executive officer of the Independent Development Trust for three years and he is also former chairperson of the Development Bank of Southern Africa.

Nkuhlu also serves on the board of the Independent Development Trust (IDT). The main focus of the IDT is on the needs of the poor, ensuring the availability of services to communities that cannot afford to pay. He is also the president of the Black Management Forum (BMF), and was rector of the University of Transkei from 1987 to 1992 and a partner in a private accounting firm in Umtata.

He is chairperson of Pan-African Capital Holdings (Pty) Ltd. The company was established in June 2005 and its focus areas are economic and financial advisory services, investments in resources and property as well as other niche opportunities.

Nkuhlu served as economic adviser to President Thabo Mbeki and as chief executive of the Secretariat of the New Partnership forAfrica’s Development (Nepad) from October 2000 to July 2005. He played a major role in the development of the Nepad policy framework and in promoting the programme both in Africa and internationally.

Current directorships include Kagiso Trust Investments, AngloGold Ashanti (Pty) Ltd and Datatec Limited. He is also non-executive chairperson of Bigen Africa (Pty) Ltd and Kagiso Investments.

In recognition of his contribution to education, business and development, Professor Nkuhlu has received a number of awards, including honorary doctorates from the universities of the Free State, Stellenbosch, Cape Town and Pretoria; and merit awards from theNational African Federated Chamber of Commerce, Association of Advancement of Black Accountants and the BMF. He was also awarded the President of Convocation Medal by UCT in June 2004. The medal is awarded to graduates of UCT for outstanding community service.

He was elected president of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants and served two terms, from April 1998 to April 2000.