Keynote Address

Thuli Madonsela (Public Protector of South Africa)

(Berlin; November 8th, 2014)

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Thuli Madonsela

(Public Protector of South Africa; Human Rights Lawyer and Equality Expert)


Thuli Madonsela is a South African advocate and the Public Protector of South Africa. Ms. Madonsela is currently also a Member of the South African Law Reform Commission, and Chairperson for the Centre for Reconciliation and Equality Studies.

Academic Career

Ms. Madonsela holds a Bachelors Degree in Law from the University of Swaziland, and an LLB from the University of the Witwatersrand obtained in 1990. From 1993 to 1995, Ms. Madonsela was a Law Lecturer at the Law School-Centre of the University of the Witwatersrand.

Political Career

Thuli Madonsela has worked for trade unions in both public and private sectors since the 1980s. In 1994 and 1995, Madonsela was part of the Task Team of technical experts formed to help the Constitutional Assembly draft the final constitution of South Africa promulgated by then President Nelson Mandela in 1996. From 1995 to 1997 Thuli Madonsela was also part of the Task Team for Employment Equity Act and Green Paper, and was Justice Deputy Director.

From 1999 to 2003, Ms. Madonsela was Chairperson for several governmental bodies among which the Equality Legislation Education Team, and the South African Labour Development Trust. Prior to her appointment as Public Protector, Ms. Madonsela was appointed in 2007 as a full-time member of the South African Law Reform Commission.


Thuli Madonsela has published several essays and books mainly concerning gender issues. Her last book, “Secure in Comfort,” was released in 2014 by Public Protector South Africa.

Awards and Achievements

Thuli Madonsela received several recognitions for her engagement in human rights and gender equality. In 2012 she was elected South Africa’s Most Influential Woman; in 2014 she was named by Time magazine one of the 100 most influential people in the world in the Leaders category. In the same year she received multiple awards being nominated Woman of Courage in the Glamour Women of the Year; South African of the Year by ANN7; and being appointed with the Transparency International Integrity Award.

Keynote Address

The Annual Conference 2014 (Berlin; November 9th)

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