HomeAbout AlumniActivities & NewsNotable AlumniHonorary DoctoratesAlumni in the NewsServices & SupportMandela Alumni ConnectAlumni DonationsMain Site
Banner image
2011 Alumni Awards

2011 Alumni Achievers


Every year, NMMU recognises alumni who have gone the distance and beyond in their specialist fields, to the benefit of society at local, provincial, national or international levels. 2011 is no different. A number of outstanding nominations were received by the Alumni Awards Committee, and the seven worthy candidates and one special award winner was selected by the Alumni Association Executive Committee. We are proud of your achievements!


Alumni Achievers


Colin Beggs

Notable leader in accounting

Colin Beggs, retired chief executive officer of PricewaterhouseCoopers, has been an exemplary leader in the accounting profession, holding many top positions during his 39-year career at the international auditing giant.

The BCom (Hons) graduate joined Price Waterhouse in 1970, working his way through the ranks and ending up as Chief Executive Officer of the country from 2001 until his retirement in 2009.Colin served as chairman of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) board in 2002/3, and was also chairman of SAICA’s Accounting Practices Committee, responsible for the development of accounting standards for use in South Africa.

For many years, he also played an active role as a trustee of the Thuthuka Bursary Fund, a vital initiative ensuring the transformation of the chartered accounting profession.Since his retirement from PwC, Colin has taken up independent non-executive directorship positions at Sasol and the Absa Group.



Leon Crouse

Finance guru

Chartered Accountant, Leon Crouse, matriculated at Hoƫrskool Otto Du Plessis in Port Elizabeth and obtained a BCom in 1974 and a CTA in 1976. He also completed his articles in Gqeberha (former Port Elizabeth) at Strelitz & Mitchell. Subsequently, he held a string of top financial management positions in the sectors of telecommunications, luxury goods, chemicals and clothing & textiles.

He spent seven years (from 1986 to 1993) with the former Rembrandt Group in Switzerland in the position of Financial Controller of Compagnie FinanciƩre Richemont AG, and was part of the team that unbundled the luxury goods business from the Rembrandt Group to form Richemont. In 1993, as a Rembrandt appointee, he returned to South Africa to become a founder member of the Vodacom Group executive team.

From 1996 to 2008, he was Chief Financial Officer and Group Finance Director for Vodacom and also served as its Company Secretary.He is currently the Chief Financial Officer of the South African investment holding group, Remgro Ltd, and is a non-executive director of FirstRand Ltd, RMB Holdings Ltd, Total South Africa (Pty) Ltd and Dark Fibre Africa (Pty) Ltd.



Nigel Harvey

Building a sterling career

More than 30 successful years in the construction industry in South Africa and the Middle East, with projects that have included the recently-completed US$2-billion Dubai Airport, culminated in Nigel Harvey’s appointment in June as chairman of Murray and Roberts’ Construction.

Nigel, who graduated with a BSc in Building Management in 1979, has worked for Murray and Roberts since his student days.He managed various projects before moving into general management in Murray and Roberts’ Garden Route office in 1992. He then relocated to Johannesburg, where he was responsible for building construction activities throughout South Africa, and in 2004 made the move to the Middle East as managing director for Murray and Roberts.

He is currently working in four Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in the Middle East.Nigel is also the founder member of the South African Business Council in Dubai, and served as its president for seven years.



Kemp J Kemp (the late)

Extraordinary legal mind

Perhaps best known as President Jacob Zuma’s lawyer, one of South Africa’s foremost advocates, Kemp J Kemp, has won famous victories in the courtroom, often against all odds.Kemp, who also represented the four former Free State University students known as the Reitz Four, graduated with a LLD in 1978 from the then University of Port Elizabeth, where he was one of the top students and president of the Student Representative Council (SRC).

He was a lecturer in the university’s Faculty of Law from 1978 to 1980, before joining the University of Zululand where he lectured until 1990. He joined the Durban Bar in 1990 and was appointed as Senior Counsel in 1997.In January 2009, in the midst of Zuma’s legal battle against the State, Kemp was nominated as Legalbrief’s Newsmaker of the Month, as a result of his riveting courtroom exchanges with state senior counsel Wim Trengove.



John Lynch (the late)

Transforming businesses

Throughout his career, BCom (Hons) graduate John Lynch has demonstrated a knack for building, managing and restructuring businesses, often turning struggling companies into success stories.He started his career at Price Waterhouse in 1974. Six years later, he joined Caborundum Abrasives (which ultimately became Abrasives Corporation), climbing the ranks to CEO in 1995, which saw him running a profitable group of companies in the complex abrasives industry.

John left the company to purchase an ailing subsidiary group, Cumar Resistant Materials, which he managed to turn around in two years, selling the business to the leading international player in 1997.

He then bought a minor equity stake in two struggling companies owned by the Gutsche Family Investment Company (GFI) in Port Elizabeth, and spent three years turning them around. Once these companies were profitable, they were sold, with substantial value improvement for shareholders.Until August this year, he spent six successful years chairing South Africa’s largest citrus exporter, achieving record returns for four years.




Eben Venter

Afrikaans writer excels

Afrikaans novelist Eben Venter, who obtained his master’s in 1981, has made a significant contribution to both Afrikaans and South African literature, with his novel Ek Stamel Ek Sterwe (translated as My Beautiful Death) being declared one of the 10 best novels in the Afrikaans literary canon.

Eben, who lives between South Africa and Australia, won the WA Hofmeyr Prize for Afrikaans Novel of the Year for the aforementioned book, as well as for two other novels, Foxtrot van die Vleiseters (Foxtrot of the Carnivores) and Begeerte (Desire).

His books have been translated into English, German and Dutch.Last year, Eben was also one of five M-Net Literary Award Winners, taking top honours in the Afrikaans category for Santa Gamka, for which he also won the ATKV Literary award.In 2005, Eben taught creative writing at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poland, and the School for Neerlandistiek at the Palacky University in the Czech Republic. In 2007, he was the writer-in-residence at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies (NIAS).



Prof Basie von Solms

Multi award-winning cyber security expert

His pioneering research in the area of Information Security has led to a number of top awards for internationally-recognised Prof Basie von Solms, a research professor in the Academy for Computer Science and Software Engineering at the University of Johannesburg.

In 1965, Basie, was one of the first students to register at the then University of Port Elizabeth. He completed his BSc and BSc Honours in 1967 and 1968, respectively, and went on to receive one of the country’s first PhDs in computer science at the former Rand Afrikaans University.

In addition to playing a major role over the last 40 years in establishing computer science and information technology as academic disciplines in South Africa, he has conducted leading-edge research in Information Security.From 2007 to 2010, he was the first person from Africa to be elected as president of the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP), and received the prestigious Kristian Beckman Award 2010 from the IFIP’s Technical Committee 11 (Informational Security).

Also in 2010, he received the Distinguished Service in ICT Award from the Computer Society of South Africa (CSSA) and the recently-founded Pioneers in Computer Science and Information Technology Award from the South African Institute for Computer Scientists and Information Technologists (SAICSIT).His earlier awards include the MT Steyn Medal from the South African Academy for Science and Arts, which he received in 2005.


Alumni Association Special Award

                           Dr Erra Cilliers

A voice for Afrikaans women


Dr Erra Cilliers has contributed to an open and democratic South African society, one in which the voices of women within the Afrikaans society are heard. The retired social work lecturer, who obtained her BA, MA (both Cum Laude) and her PhD from UPE, is also recognised for her service to the university, having served on the former UPE Council and the Afrikaans Language and Culture Organisations, when she was awarded a Woman for Women Award.

Upcoming events

University Events

AAEC Meetings


Telephone: +27(0)41 504 3935 | Fax: +27(0)41 504 2574 / 1417 | E-mail: alumni@mandela.ac.za

PO Box 77000 | Nelson Mandela University | Gqebehra | 6031 | South Africa

© Nelson Mandela University 2021