List of University of the Witwatersrand people

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This is a list of notable alumni and staff of the University of the Witwatersrand.


Architecture and design[edit]

Business and entrepreneurship[edit]

  • Aanon Michael Rosholt, Chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand, 1982-1996; Chairman of Barlows until his retirement; Chairman of the Urban Foundation, the Joint Education Trust and the National Business Initiative; received the Order of the Grand Counsellor of the Baobab from the South African government
  • Adam Levy, property developer
  • Adrian Gore, CEO of Discovery Holdings Ltd; Chairman of Destiny Health Inc. in the USA and Prudential Health Limited in the UK; graduated from Wits with a B.Sc. (Honours) in Actuarial Science; in 1990, he was admitted as a Fellow of the Faculty of Actuaries (Edinburgh), and in 1992 as an Associate of the Society of Actuaries (Chicago); member of the American Academy of Actuaries
  • Alan Demby, founder of Scoin shops; executive chairperson of The Gold Group, incorporating the South African Gold Coin Exchange, the Scoin Shop and GIC
  • Alan Pullinger, CEO of Rand Merchant Bank
  • Brian Joffe, Chief Executive Officer of Bidvest Plc; founded Bidvest Corporation in 1988
  • Brian Zylstra (1935-2012), graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1957
  • Bridget van Kralingen, Senior Vice President, IBM Global Business Services
  • Charles Chinedu Okeahalam, economist and businessman, CEO of AGH Capital Group; former Liberty Life Professor of Financial Economics and Banking, University of the Witwatersrand
  • David Charles Brink, Lead Independent Non-Executive Director at Steinhoff International Holdings Limited; holds a Bachelor Science in Mining Engineering and a Masters of Science in Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand
  • David S. Lobel, founder and Managing Partner of Sentinel Capital Partners, a leading middle-market private equity firm
  • David Sussman, founder and Executive Chairman of the JD Group; founded Sustein (Pty) Ltd in 1983
  • Derek Keys (born 1931), finance minister of South Africa, 1992-1994, in the cabinets of F W de Klerk and Nelson Mandela
  • Dixit Joshi, head of equities for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa at Deutsche Bank
  • Donald Gordon, founder of life insurance company Liberty Life in 1958 with R100,000 when he was 27 years old; awarded a knighthood in 2005 in recognition of his services to the arts and business
  • Elizabeth Bradley, Non-Executive Chairman of Toyota SA Limited; former Executive Director of AngloGold
  • Errol Glasser, US investment banker
  • Gail Kelly (born Gail Currer), Australian and South African businessperson; first woman CEO of a major Australian bank or top 15 company (2002); as of 2005 was the highest paid woman at an Australian corporation; CEO at Westpac
  • Gary Barber, Chairman and CEO of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Bachelor of Commerce; certificate in the Theory of Accountancy
  • Geoffrey Matus, Canadian-based CEO and Chairman of HO Financial Limited; President of Mandukwe Inc
  • Gordon Schachat, co-founder of African Bank Limited and prominent art collector
  • Graham Mackay, former Chairman and Ex-CEO of SABMiller plc, the world's second largest beer brewer; appointed Group Managing Director in 1997 and Chief Executive of South African Breweries plc upon its listing on the London Stock Exchange in 1999; Senior Non-Executive Director of Reckitt Benckiser Group plc; serves on the Compensation and Leadership Development, Finance and Product Innovation and Regulatory Affairs Committees
  • Ivan Glasenberg, CEO of Glencore, one of the world's largest commodity trading companies; on the boards of mining companies Xstrata plc and Minara Resources Ltd
  • John Chalsty, Principal and Chairman of Muirfield Capital Management LLC, an asset management firm; holds a BSc in chemistry and physics, a BSc (Hons) and MSc in Chemistry from the University of the Witwatersrand; the University also awarded him an Honorary Doctorate in Commerce
  • Dr Judy Dlamini, Chairperson of Mbekani Investment Holdings Limited
  • Kim McFarland, CEO of Investec Asset Management (Pty) Ltd; Chief Financial Officer of Investec Asset Management (Pty) Ltd in Cape Town; member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants
  • Koos Bekker, former CEO of Naspers, an emerging markets media group operating in 129 countries; led the founding team of M-Net in 1985, which resulted in pay TV operations today spanning 48 countries in Africa; obtained a BA degree in law and an honours degree in languages at the University of Stellenbosch in 1974 and 1975 respectively; obtained a Bachelor of Laws degree from University of the Witwatersrand in 1978 and an MBA from Columbia University in 1984; awarded an honorary doctorate degree in commerce from the University of Stellenbosch
  • Lael Bethlehem, former CEO of the Johannesburg Development Agency; Investment Executive at Hosken Consolidated Investments
  • Lazarus Zim, founder of Afripalm Resources (Pty) Ltd in 2006, and its chairman; CEO of Anglo American Corporation of South Africa Ltd and Anglo American PLC since 2005; served as a member of the executive board of Anglo American Plc
  • Ludwig Lachmann, economist and important contributor to the Austrian School
  • Maria Ramos, economist and businesswoman; CEO of ABSA Group since 2009; former CEO of Transnet; named outstanding businesswoman of the year 2009 in the African Business Awards granted by the Commonwealth Business Council and African Business magazine
  • Mark Lamberti, Non-Executive Chairman of Massmart Holdings; Deputy Chairman of Massmart Holdings Ltd; Alternate Director of Servistar (Pty) Ltd; Non-Executive Director of Allied Electronics Corporation Ltd
  • Mark Prichard, CEO and a founding member of NMG Consultants and Actuaries (Pty) Ltd[1]
  • Martin Morgan, Chief Executive Officer and Director of DMGT
  • Meyer Feldberg, Senior Advisor to Morgan Stanley
  • Nathan Kirsh, South African-born Swazi business magnate, with a property empire spanning the UK, Swaziland and Australia; has Swazi citizenship; has residency status in the UK and the USA
  • Nic Kohler, CEO of Hollard, the largest independent and privately owned insurer in South Africa
  • Norm Judah, Microsoft Services chief technology officer of Worldwide Services and IT
  • Norman Adami, President of Miller Brewing, Milwaukee, US; President and Chief Executive Officer of SABMiller Americas; holds a Bachelor of Business Science (Hons) from the University of Cape Town and an MBA from the University of the Witwatersrand Business School
  • Nthato Motlana, giant of South African business and the anti-apartheid struggle; one of the accused, with Mandela and 18 others, in the 1952 Defiance Campaign Trial; all the accused were convicted for their role in a campaign of peaceful protests against apartheid laws; chairperson of the Soweto Committee of Ten which was formed to run Soweto's affairs after the collapse of the Soweto Urban Bantu Council
  • Patrice Motsepe, South African mining magnate; according to Forbes magazine, worth more than R17-billion after adding a further R7-billion to his net worth in 2009
  • Patrick Soon-Shiong, South African-American surgeon; founder, chairman, and CEO of Abraxis BioScience, a biotechnology company developing cancer treatment; billionaire, according to Forbes magazine
  • Robbie Brozin, CEO and founder of Nandos
  • Ronnie Apteker, founder of Internet Solutions, one of South Africa's largest internet service providers
  • Sir Ernest Oppenheimer, diamond and gold mining entrepreneur; financier; philanthropist; controlled De Beers; founded the Anglo American Corporation of South Africa
  • Sir Mark Weinberg, South African-born British financier; founder of Abbey Life Assurance Company
  • Sol Kerzner, hotel and gambling magnate; created the most successful hotel group in South Africa, Sun International; Chairman of the Board of Kerzner International, based in the Bahamas
  • Stan Bergman, Chairman and CEO of Henry Schein, Inc., the world's largest distributor of health products and services to office-based dental, medical and animal health practitioner; received his bachelor of commerce from the University of Witwatersrand; New York State Certified Public Accountant; member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; South African Chartered Accountant
  • Stephen Koseff, CEO of Investec PLC and Investec Limited; Director of Bidvest Group Limited; Chartered Accountant
  • Steven Collis, CEO and President of AmerisourceBergen Corporation since 2011; earned a Bachelor of Commerce with Honors degree from University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg
  • Thomas Boardman, non-executive director of Nedbank; former Chief Executive of the Group and the Bank; former Chief Executive and an executive director of BoE; former director of Boardmans, Sam Newman Limited, BoE International Holdings Limited, Northwind Investments; non-executive director of Mutual & Federal Insurance Company Limited and the Banking Association; director of Vodacom Group (Pty) Ltd and the WWF South Africa (World Wide Fund for Nature)
  • Tony Trahar, former chairman of Anglo American; educated at St John's College and the University of the Witwatersrand, after which he qualified as a chartered accountant; CEO of Anglo American 2000-2007
  • Victor Sekese, Chief Executive of SizweNtsalubaGobodo, the largest black-owned accounting firm in South Africa
  • Vuyo Jack, CEO of Empowerdex
  • Sir Winfried Franz Wilhem Bischoff, Anglo-German banker; chairman of Lloyds Banking Group plc; former chairman and former interim CEO of Citigroup; knighted in 2000




Legal profession[edit]

4 May 2009: Dr Beric Croome was keynote speaker for the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) graduation ceremony for the students of the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management. Photograph shows from left to right: Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Y Ballim; Dr Beric Croome; Professor David Kolitz, President of the Convocation of the University of the Witwatersrand.


  • Dr John Brereton Barlow - Barlow's syndrome
  • Dr Julien Hoffman, paediatric cardiologist; cardiac physiologist; expert in the epidemiology of congenital cardiovascular malformations
  • Dr Mary Malahlela, first black woman doctor in South Africa
  • Dr Nthatho Harrison Motlana, activist, academic, businessman, Mandela family physician
  • Dr Saul Levin, U.S.-based psychiatrist
  • Dr Alan Menter (MBBCh, 1966, Wits), dermatologist; expert on psoriasis; Chairman of the Division of Dermatology; Director of the Dermatology Residency program for Baylor University Medical Center; Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School
  • Dr Basil Hirschowitz, inventor of the first fiberoptic endoscope
  • Dr George Cohen, radiologist; established Harry's Angels, the world's largest international flying medical specialist service, which performed over 5.500 operations by the end of 1977, and examined and treated more than 40.000 non-operative cases
  • Dr Catherine Nyongesa, radiation oncologist
  • Dr Jack Penn, known for his innovative techniques in plastic surgery, notably the Brenthurst splint
  • Dr Neil Segal, oncologist
  • Dr Priscilla Kincaid-Smith, "the mother of nephrology", appointed Commander of The Order of the British Empire (Civil) in 1975, for services to medicine; appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia; first woman to become President of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (1986–1988); won Australian Achiever Award in 1997 for a lifetime's work in renal health
  • Dr William Harding le Riche, epidemiologist; established the first non-segregated health centre in Knysna
  • Prof Glenda Gray, President of the South African Medical Research Council, pediatrician
  • Prof Phillip Tobias, palaeoanthropologist and Professor Emeritus at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg; known for his work at South Africa's hominid fossil sites; anti-apartheid activist
  • Prof Sydney Brenner, biologist; 2002 Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine, shared with H. Robert Horvitz and John Sulston
  • Professor Raymond Dart, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, 1925-1943, the longest term of service in that capacity; announced the discovery of the Taung skull, the first of Africa's early hominids, and named the species Australopithecus Africanus
  • Senior Surgeon Dr Phyllis Knocker, first woman surgeon in South Africa; first woman President of the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa (1983-1986)
  • Sir Terence English, cardiac surgeon
  • Professor James Ware, surgeon

Politics and public service[edit]

Science and technology[edit]

David Forsyth, a computer vision researcher from the University of Witzwatersrand currently working at the University of Illinois




  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 November 2013. Retrieved 12 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Distinguished graduates". School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand. Retrieved 9 July 2018. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 June 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "A worried world awaits Trump presidency: 10 views". CNN. Retrieved 20 December 2017. 
  5. ^ "How Trump won the US election". News24. Retrieved 22 December 2017. 
  6. ^