The former South African deputy president and UN) Women director, Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, has been appointed as new Chancellor of the University of Johannesburg.
“Her five-year term of office will run from October 1, 2022 until September 30, 2027. She will succeed Professor Njabulo Ndebele, whose second five-year term as Chancellor ends on September 30,” the university said.
“UJ’s approach to impact reflects the UN Sustainable Development Goals – something that Dr Mlambo-Ngcuka, in her capacity as UN Executive Director of UN Women, has cherished and led. Indeed, she embodies all the UJ values and aspirations, values, where equality, diversity and inclusivity have been part of the University’s success story,” said UJ Registrar, Professor Kinta Burger.
The chairperson of UJ Council, Mike Teke, said the position of Chancellor at UJ demands a person of stature, exemplary moral and ethical values, someone who would not shy away from addressing some of greatest challenges and someone who would speak for those who often have no voice in society.
“Such a person is indeed Dr Mlambo-Ngcuka. She is a distinguished person with a demonstrable record of excellence, leadership for the betterment of society, and service to her community. We look forward to her contribution towards our vision: An international University of choice, anchored in Africa, dynamically shaping the future.”
Teke also paid tribute to the outgoing Chancellor, Prof Ndebele. “Prof Njabulo Ndebele has immensely contributed to UJ’s strategic direction and its growth as an important player in the higher education sector, both locally and internationally.”
Mlambo-Ngcuka was a member of the first South African democratically elected Parliament in 1994, first as deputy minister in the department of trade and industry (and as minister of minerals and energy.
She later became the deputy president of South Africa between 2005 and 2008), the highest-ranking female political leader in the history of the country.
She was appointed as the UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women in 2013.
As the head of the UN entity that was dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, she was a global advocate for women and girls.