Roelf Meyer |
As Chief Negotiator for the National Party Government, Roelf was intimately involved in the settlement of the South African conflict. Together with his counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa, Chief Negotiator for the African National Congress (ANC), Roelf negotiated the end of apartheid and helped pave the way to the first democratic elections in South Africa in 1994. After the elections, Meyer continued in his post of Minister of Constitutional Affairs in the Cabinet of President Nelson Mandela.
Roelf was chair of the South African Defence Review Committee (2011 to 2014), and currently serves on the boards of various companies. He is an active consultant on peace processes, and has advised parties in Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka, Rwanda, Burundi, Iraq, Kosovo, the Basque Region, Guyana, Bolivia, Kenya, Madagascar, and South Sudan.
He practiced as a lawyer in Pretoria and Johannesburg before entering politics as Member of Parliament in 1979. He resigned from active politics after 21 years at the end of January 2000. During this period he served as Deputy Minister of Law and Order, Deputy Minister of Constitutional Development, Cabinet Minister of Defence, and Cabinet Minister of Constitutional Affairs.
On 27 March 2009, President Kgalema Motlanthe awarded Roelf the Order of the Baobab in Silver for “his immense contribution in providing special support in the birth of the new democratic South Africa through negotiations and ensuring that South Africa has a Constitution that protects all its citizens”.
Roelf held the Tip O’Neill Chair in Peace Studies at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland from 2000-2001, and is currently an honorary professor at the Gordon Institute of Business Science at the University of Pretoria.
Ivor Jenkins |
With more than 30 years of experience in civil society, conflict resolution, political transition, and organisational development, Ivor is well known as a leader in the fields of peacebuilding and democratisation.
Ivor has played an active role in South African and African politics, using his political facilitation skills to assist in the transformation of a myriad of sectors. He is recognised as a pragmatic problem solver with a high commitment to participative decision-making, but at the same time with a decisive edge to his actions. His expertise includes political leadership, intergroup relations, conflict management, governance systems transformation, NGO capacity building, project management, and fundraising.
Ivor’s extensive international experience includes consultations across the African continent, Europe, Asia, and the Americas. He continues to play a critical role in guiding transitional societies – such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Bolivia, Northern Ireland, Nigeria, the Basque country, and Zimbabwe – towards peace.
Furthermore, he has long been committed to the development of young political leadership, and is able to leverage political transitional moments to harness the energy and skills of young people in societies undergoing transition.
Over many years, he has hosted international delegations interested in understanding the South African transition. Government leaders, officials, and students from countries as diverse as Bolivia, Nepal, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bahrain, and Kenya have toured South Africa with Ivor.
Ivor joined Idasa (The Institute for a Democratic Alternative for South Africa) in 1990, and served as managing director of Idasa’s national office from 1996-2013. Ivor spearheaded Idasa’s expansion into more than 35 countries on the African continent, promoting democratic values as well as good governance practices.
In 2013, Ivor joined Roelf Meyer and Mohammed Bhabha to establish the In Transformation Initiative with the purpose of promoting the South African peacemaking process in countries of transition and conflict.
Ivor received an honorary doctorate degree from North Park University (Chicago, USA) for his service to the liberation process of South Africa and its people. He lives in Pretoria with his wife, Karin. They have two children, Jana and Jason.
Mohammed Bhabha |
Mohammed is a former Member of Parliament, qualified attorney, and experienced negotiator. He was part of the African National Congress (ANC) team at the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA), and later as part of the agreements on the final South African Constitution.
In 1994, he was appointed as a Senator in the first democratic parliament, and chaired the Select Committee on Constitutional Affairs. In 2001, he was appointed as a Provincial Minister of Local Government (MEC) in Mpumalanga. He has acted in an advisory capacity to several ministries since he left public office in 2004, and is presently an advisor to the Minister of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs.
Mohammed has worked on transitional and constitutional support projects in Kenya, South Sudan, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Yemen, Palestine, Bahrain, and Zimbabwe.
Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim |
Ebrahim’s experience in national transformation began at a young age. In 1952, he joined the South African liberation movement as a youth activist, and participated in the Congress of the People Campaign, which drew up and adopted the Freedom Charter in 1955.
After the banning of the African National Congress (ANC) in 1960, Ebrahim joined the armed wing of the ANC, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) in 1961. He was arrested in 1963 and charged under the sabotage act with eighteen other accused in the Pietermaritzburg Sabotage Trial. He was sentenced to 15 years on Robben Island.
He was released in 1979, but was restricted to his hometown in Durban and banned from participating in any public or political activities. In 1980, he went into exile, and managed the political underground from the frontline states bordering South Africa.
In December 1986, he was kidnapped from Swaziland by the South African Security Forces and detained in South Africa, where he was severely tortured. He was charged for high treason and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment on Robben Island. In 1991, the Court of Appeals ruled that his kidnapping from a foreign country was illegal, and that the South African court had no jurisdiction to try him. He was subsequently released from prison in early 1991.
In July 1991, he was elected to the National Executive Committee of the ANC and also became a member of the National Working Committee. During the CODESA (Convention for a Democratic South Africa) negotiations, Ebrahim was tasked by the ANC to establish the Patriotic Front, which consisted of over 93 organisations. The Patriotic Front brought together political, religious, community, cultural and civic organisations. The aim of the Patriotic Front was to achieve consensus on both the negotiation process and the final outcome of the negotiations that led to the establishment of a democratic South Africa. Ebrahim also participated in the CODESA negotiations.
Ebrahim was elected a member of the National Assembly of Parliament in 1994. In August 1997, he was elected Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee and also became a member of the Joint Select Committee on Intelligence. Ebrahim resigned from Parliament in July 2002, to take up the position of the Senior Political and Economic Advisor to the Deputy President of South Africa.
Since 2002, Ebrahim has been actively involved in conflict resolution efforts between Israel and Palestine, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), as well as in Burundi, Kosovo, Bolivia, and Nepal.
In 2006 Ebrahim was appointed as Head of International Affairs at the African National Congress Head Office.
In May 2009 he was appointed as Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation. He continues to serve as a member of the ANC’s National Executive Committee.
After the May 2014 elections in South Africa, President Jacob Zuma appointed Ebrahim as his Parliamentary Councillor for the next five years of his term.
In 2015, Ebrahim was honoured for his lifelong contributions by King Felipe VI of Spain.