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Nelson MAndela University Alumni finalists of Top 35 under 35 accountants.


Congratulations to two Nelson Mandela University Alumni, Andrea Klassen and Tramayne Monaghan on being selected as finalists in the 2020 SAICA Top 35 under 35 for accountants. The University wishes them all the best in their journey and may they continue to fly the Mandela University flag high.  Find out more about the finalists at


Nelson Mandela Bay social worker wins top SA public servant award

Always striving to go beyond the call of duty has seen Uitenhage social worker Unathi Filita being recognised as the country’s best public servant for 2020.      
Filita took top honours in Johannesburg on Saturday in the annual Integrity Icon Awards run by the Accountability Lab.
The awards recognise the most exemplary civil servants in the departments of health, social development, home affairs, and trade and  industry.
Filita walked away with the People’s Choice Award, which resulted in him being selected as the Accountability Lab ambassador.
He was nominated by members of the public after he managed to secure employment for 100 youths at the Volkswagen plant.
“When they called my name I was happy. If it wasn’t for the Eastern Cape department of social development I don’t think I would have won it.
“I never thought I could win such an award. I dedicate my win to all social workers, especially in the Eastern Cape. This award recognises all our hard work.”
Ntombozuko Jafta, founder of non-profit organisation TWIST, said she had nominated Filita as he was passionate about his work.
“You can call him at 11pm to tell him there’s an abandoned child and he will come to help.”
Filita’s wife, Ziyanda, said she was proud of him.
“He always goes beyond the call of duty without being paid extra to help people.”
Eastern Cape social development MEC Siphokazi Lusithi congratulated Filita on his accolade.
“We wish his actions would not just inspire those around him, but society in general,” he said.
“The work of a social worker is driven by a deep sense of compassion for those vulnerable in society and Unathi has shown that social workers driven by this sense of compassion still exist.”
Article published: HeraldLIVE

Mandela University celebrating outstanding alumni

Carrying the name of one of the world’s greatest leaders brings with it enormous responsibility. This is something Nelson Mandela University takes very seriously, as it strives to be a university that is of service to society.   
At its annual Alumni Awards on November 26, the university was proud to honour seven outstanding alumni – among them Nelson Mandela’s great grandson, who is working to strengthen the media in East and Southern Africa, a woman making significant environmental strides globally in the traditionally male-dominated mining sector, a lawyer at one of the world’s biggest firms who fights for children’s rights in his free time, and an inspiring achiever who has proved you are never too old to learn.
“In their own unique ways, our award recipients are using their expertise and knowledge to address complexities and challenges in society, making a difference in the lives of those around them. There are more examples and opportunities alumni to play a role in making a difference wherever the find themselves,” said Vice-Chancellor, Prof Sibongile Muthwa.
Alumni Achiever Awards were awarded to New York-based school principal St Claire Adriaan and Canada-based Dr Theresia Ott, who is the Chief Advisor for Environment for one of the world’s largest mining companies, Rio Tinto, which has operations across five continents.
Adriaan, who grew up in Port Elizabeth’s northern areas during apartheid, went on to become the first black Student Representative Council (SRC) president at the former University of Port Elizabeth. He holds an impressive eight degrees, and has made a career providing the best instruction possible to marginalised students in schools across the United States, striving to ensure each student feels cared for, trusted, and more than anything else, like they matter.
Dr Ott is a sustainability leader recognised globally for her expertise in helping the mining sector reduce its impact on the environment, while also uplifting communities. She serves on the International Council of Mining and Metals Environment Policy Committee and was invited to participate at the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in June 2020.
A Special Award went to Nomhle Zako, who started her long career at Nelson Mandela University nearly 40 years ago as a cleaner in the campus residences. Over the years, she managed to complete her unfinished high school studies, and obtain a university degree, opening up new opportunities that eventually led to her becoming a Resident Manager – and, indeed, an inspiration to all the students in her care. 
Four Rising Star Awards, honouring alumni aged 45 and under, were awarded to Dumisani Chauke, Siyabulela Mandela, Dr Sweta Patnaik and Conrad van Loggerenberg.
Chauke, who was raised in rural Limpopo and has gone on to play and coach netball at national levels, is using the sport to uplift girls in disadvantaged communities through her non-profit organisation, the Dumisani Chauke Netball Foundation.
Mandela, building on the legacy of his great-grandfather, has been continuing the fight for social injustice and equality, through his studies and work in conflict transformation and management. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, he was approached by the international organisation Journalists for Human Rights to strengthen the media’s role in the fight against COVID-19 in South Sudan, and has since been appointed Regional Project Coordinator for East and Southern Africa.
Dr Patnaik, who is a lecturer in Clothing and Textile Technology at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, has not only been making significant and rapid strides to advance teaching and learning in higher education globally, but has also highlighted the importance of the textile industry, with its enormous impact on fashion and other industries, for national and global economies. 
Though he now lives in New York, Van Loggerenberg has strong ties to Nelson Mandela Bay and to the university. His father, Christo, also a past Alumni Award recipient, was Dean of Law and Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic at the former University of Port Elizabeth. Apart from being a partner in the Corporate Department at one of the world’s biggest law firms, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP, he also runs a pro bono practice representing not-for-profit interests and individuals, especially children. He is also involved in Port Elizabeth’s NGO Ubuntu Pathways, which is helping to improve the health and education of thousands of children.
Director of Alumni Relations, Paul Geswindt, said: “Celebrating excellence and success stories are important. Even though the 2020 Alumni Awards ceremony was held online, it offered the benefit of more people across the globe joining in the celebration.”
St Claire Adriaan
Dr Theresia Ott
Dumisani Chauke
Conrad van Loggerenberg
Dr Sweta Patnaik
Monhle Zako
Siyabulela Mandela