Wiseman Nkuhlu 2006

Doctor of Commerce (Honoris Causa)

Wiseman Lumkile Nkuhlu was born on 5 February 1944 in Cala, Eastern Cape. In 1976, he became the first African to qualify as a chartered accountant in South Africa. After qualifying, he moved to Umtata to manage an audit practice as well as starting up the Department of Accounting at the University of Transkei (Unitra) where he served as Head from 1977 to 1982.  During this time, he became Professor of Accounting and continued with his studies, completing an MBA at the University of New York.

From 1983, Professor Nkuhlu became very active in the economic development field, publishing articles and presenting papers at numerous conferences on socio-economic development issues. He became Vice-Principal of Unitra in 1983 and then Principal & Vice-Chancellor in 1987, a position he occupied for a period of five years.

His contribution to national transformation has been mainly through the Black Management Forum, of which he has been a member for more than ten years, serving as National President for five years.

In May 1992, he became Chief Executive of the Independent Development Trust, a position which he held until May 1995. He was Chairperson of the board of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) from 1993 to July 2000 and chaired the Transformation Task Team appointed by the Minister of Finance in 1994 to review the mandate and core business of the DBSA. He also chaired the National Empowerment Consortium bid for the Johnnic group, taking part in all the major negotiations with the Anglo American Corporation.

Professor Nkuhlu founded Worldwide African Investment Holdings (Pty) Ltd together with three other colleagues and served as its Chairperson from May 1995 to June 1997. In July 1998, he established Midland Economic Equity Group Ltd (MEEG) - an integrated financial services group with four subsidiaries, including Meeg Bank, which has branches in the Eastern Cape.

In April 1998, the Minister of Education appointed him as the first Chairperson of the Council on Higher Education. The mandate of the council is to advise on the transformation and development of higher education in post-apartheid South Africa. In December 1999, the President appointed him Chairperson of the Thabo Mbeki Development Fund for the Disabled.  Professor Nkuhlu has served as economic advisor to President Mbeki and as Chief Executive of the secretariat of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). 

He served as National President of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants for two years and during this period, successfully transformed the Institute into a truly non-racial organisation with a black Chief Executive.

He serves on the boards of various companies, including Old Mutual, JCI and Tongaat Hulett and previously served as a director of Standard Bank Investment Corporation and South African Breweries. He has also served on the international advisory councils of the International Finance Corporation (a member of the World Bank), the Foreign Policy Association of New York and the Independent Newspapers Group.

Professor Nkuhlu has received a number of awards for his leadership in business and education, including an award from the Association for the Advancement of Black Accountants in 1990 and a merit award from the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce (NAFCOC) in 1993.

Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu is married to Hazel Nondima and they have four children.

His contributions to education and business are considered exceptional and it is an honour for NMMU to confer a Doctor of Commerce (Honoris Causaon WISEMAN LUMKILE NKUHLU.