University of the Witwatersrand Alumni & Students

Helen Suzman
Helen Suzman spent a total of 36 years in parliament, during which she defended the right to freedom of expression for all South Africans. She passed away peacefully in her home in Johannesburg in January 2009.
Richard Goldstone
Co-Chair: International Law Sessions, Salzburg Seminars, Salzburg; Co-Chair: Human Rights Institute, International Bar Association, London; Co-Chair: International Bar Assoc Task on International Terrorism; Chair: Bradlow Foundation;
Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela, a qualified lawyer, was the first South African president of a truly democratic South Africa. He was elected president in 1994, in South Africa’s first democratic vote, and served until 1999. Prior to becoming president, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist: the leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC, and both Transvaal president of the ANC and deputy national president. In 1952 Mandela and Oliver Tambo opened the first black legal firm in the country. Mandela served 27 years in prison, some of which were on Robben Island, after being convicted of “plotting to destroy the South African state by sabotage” at the now famous Rivonia trial . He was released from prison on 11 February 1990. Mandela has received more than 250 awards over four decades, most notably the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize. His birthday has been named Mandela Day in his honour, with the United Nations General Assembly observing the first ever annual 'Nelson Mandela Day' on Sunday, 18 July 2010.
Beyers Naudé
Beyers Naudé was General-Secretary of the South African Council of Churches. In 2001 DF Malan Drive in Johannesburg was renamed Beyers Naudé in his honour.
Es'kia Mphahlele
Internal Consultant: Ezekiel Mphahlele Trust, Johannesburg; Professor Emeritus: University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg; Internal Consultant: Prof. Ezekiel Mphahlele Trust; Went into exile 1957, banned from teaching in SA as a result of campaigning against the recommendations of the Eiselen Comm for a system of 'Bantu Education' 1952. Returned to SA after 20 years of exile;
Gert Gerwel
Jakes Gerwel is Chancellor of Rhodes University, Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at the University of the Western Cape, Honorary Professor in the Humanities at the University of Pretoria, and Chairman of the Human Sciences Research Council. He is presently a non-executive director of Naspers and Old Mutual.
Johannes Myburgh
Professor Bert Myburgh is Past President of The Colleges of Medicine of South Africa.
Bill Venter
Chair: Bytes Technology Group (BTG); He has devoted 40 years to entrepreneurial endeavours and initiatives in the electronics, telecommunications and power electrical industries, in South Africa and abroad.
Arthur Chaskalson
President: International Commission of Jurists, Geneva; Member: Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague ; Trustee: Constitution Hill Trust, Johannesburg; Trustee: Legal Resources Trust, Johannesburg;
Janet Suzman
Went to UK 1960; Directed Othello, Market Theatre 1987; Played in The Death of Bessie Smith, Market Theatre 1976; Joined Royal Shakespeare Co 1963-73 & played most major Shakespearian roles at Stratford-on-Avon & London;