a royal farewell


Bidding our

Council chairperson Dr Bismark Tyobeka (second from left) and NWU vice-chancellor Prof Dan Kgwadi (second from right) hand outgoing chancellor His Majesty Kgosi Molotlegi a painting. Registrar Prof Marlene Verhoef (far right) looks on while Clement Manoko, the executive director for corporate relations and marketing (far left) addresses the audience.

Watch the video above to see how the NWU pays tribute to the outgoing chancellor.



His Majesty Kgosi Leruo Molotlegi has been the leader of the 150 000-strong Royal Bafokeng Nation in Phokeng in the North West Province since 2000.  He is the 36th king of the Bafokeng and the 15th direct descendant in a long line of Bafokeng kings.

Saying goodbye to the NWU’s outgoing chancellor was a regal affair – in the full sense of the word.


During this prestigious occasion on 25 September 2019 in Vanderbijlpark, the NWU paid tribute to His Majesty Kgosi Leruo Molotlegi, acknowledging his involvement and guidance during his term of 10 years.


His Majesty Kgosi Molotlegi was inaugurated as the NWU’s second chancellor in 2009, and was appointed for a second term in 2014.


During his decade as chancellor, his role evolved from being a ceremonial office bearer at events such as graduations to exploring and introducing collaborative projects to further the interests of the university.


A royal farewell


During the farewell ceremony, several members of the NWU’s top management and governance structures paid tribute to the outgoing chancellor.


These leaders included Dr Bismark Tyobeka (chairperson of the NWU Council), Prof Dan Kgwadi (vice-chancellor), Prof Linda du Plessis (deputy vice-chancellor for planning and for campus operations in Vanderbijlpark) and Heinz Schoeman-Struwig (chairperson of the Student Representative Council).


In his address, His Majesty Kgosi Molotlegi said that as a student in the late 1980s and later as chancellor of the NWU, he had acquired a holistic appreciation for higher education, and more so for the NWU. The critical role universities play within the national context is particularly important to him.


Collaboration with communities


He referred to the challenges facing higher education institutions and explained that in an effort to chart a way forward, issues such as historical legacy and the poor state of the South African schooling system needed to be addressed as a national priority.


“I hope to continue collaborating with the NWU and other institutions of higher learning beyond my tenure as chancellor. Together, we should join hands in bringing about the change that we want to see in our society,” he said.


He foresees a time when universities may also become a social resource. “As I see it, a university that gears itself up in some way to address local challenges will be a wonderful boon to its country.


“Let us think of how we can maximise the learning and growth potential of transformative engagements with communities within and beyond our campuses.


“This is important because the greatest asset of the 21st century is the minds of our young people. We must ensure that they are experts in flexibility, self-awareness, adaptability and respect for the diversity of ways in which knowledge can be experienced and applied.”