George Soros – OSF.SA – FW stigting – Grondeise: 1994

FW se verbintenisse met George Soros Kommunis asook Grondeise sedert 1994 – land reform and land claims – Dawood and George Soros.
Zohra Dawood is aangestel as direkteur van die FW de Klerk Stigting se Sentrum vir Eenheid in Diversiteit vanaf 17 Oktober 2016.   Zohra Dawood het grade in regte en ‘n Meestersgraad in ekonomiese geskiedenis. Sy het vir ‘n dekade gewerk as hoofnavorser vir ‘n grondregte-organisasie. Ná 1994 het sy saam met die Departement van Grondsake en Landbou gewerk, waar sy betrokke was in beleidsformulering en -implementering, met inbegrip van onderhandelings en skikkings met betrekking tot grondeise.

Me Dawood was ‘n adviseur vir kabinetslede en was ‘n adviseur van die Presidensie van Nelson Mandela. Sy het ook vir die Departement van Verdediging gewerk met die opstel van wetgewing en beleide oor grond en die omgewing.

In 1999 het sy by die Soros Network se Open Society Foundations (OSF) aangesluit en is aangestel as Uitvoerende Direkteur. Benewens haar verantwoordelikhede ten opsigte van Suid-Afrika en Afrika-programme vir die Open Society Foundations, is sy aangestel om die OSF se ondernemings in Indonesië te lei as Streeksdirekteur, waar sy ‘n OSF-instelling bestuur het wat ten doel gehad het om demokrasie en ‘n oop samelewing te institusionaliseer in die grootste Moslemland ter wêreld.

Me Dawood was internasionaal aktief betrokke by belangrike kwessies met betrekking tot menseregte en internasionale geregtigheid, maatskaplike, ekonomiese en regshervorming en die bevordering van onafhanklike media. Sy het vir die media geskryf en wyd voorleggings gemaak by konferensies en seminare en was aktief betrokke by kwessies wat verband hou met buitelandse beleid en internasionale betrekkinge, deur die Suid-Afrikaanse Inisiatief vir Buitelandse Beleid, wat sy in 2011 gestig het.

Sy is sedert November 2013 ‘n professionele genoot van die Zamyn, ‘n onafhanklike analitiese organisasie wat werksaam is by die kruising van sosio-ekonomiese, politieke en kulturele teorie en praktyk.

Me Dawood is in 2013 gevra om by AgangSA aan te sluit onder leierskap van dr Mamphela Ramphele, vir ‘n tydperk van ses maande. Dit het die daarstelling behels van ‘n nuwe politieke platform om demokrasie in Suid-Afrika te versterk.

Voordat sy by die FW de Klerk Stigting aangesluit het as Direkteur van die Sentrum vir Eenheid in Diversiteit, het me Dawood uit haar gemaksone beweeg om die pos van Hoof van Besigheidsontwikkeling en Fondsinsameling by die Kaapstadse Filharmoniese Orkes (KFO) te aanvaar. Dit het die bestuur van die besigheidstrategie en fonds insamelingsinisiatief vir die KFO behels, met inbegrip van die aanpak van kwessies betreffende diversiteit, die bou van loopbaanrigtings vir talentvolle musikante en, meer belangrik, die finansiële volhoubaarheid van die KFO, wat gegroei het van ‘n organisasie wat in die rooi was, na een wat nou sy eie skenkingsfonds bestuur.

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Zohra Dawood was appointed as Director of the FW de Klerk Foundation’s Centre for Unity in Diversity as of 17 October 2016.

Ms Dawood has degrees in law and a Master’s degree in economic history.  She worked for a decade as chief researcher for a land rights’ organisation. After 1994, she worked with the Department of Land Affairs and Agriculture, where she was involved in policy formulation and implementation, including negotiations and settlement of land claims. Ms Dawood has been an adviser to cabinet members and was an adviser to the Presidency of Nelson Mandela. She also worked for the Department of Defence in drafting its legislation and policies on land and environment. In 1999, she joined the Soros Network’s Open Society Foundations (OSF) and was appointed Executive Director. In addition to her responsibilities for South Africa and African programmes for the Open Society Foundations, she was appointed to lead OSF’s efforts in Indonesia as Regional Director, where she headed up an OSF entity that seeks to institutionalise democracy and an open society in the largest Muslim country in the world.

Ms Dawood has been actively engaged internationally in key issues related to human rights and international justice, social, economic and legal reform and the promotion of independent media. She has written for the media and presented widely at conferences and seminars and has been actively engaged in issues related to foreign policy and international relations, through the South African Foreign Policy Initiative, which she founded in 2011.

She has been a Professional Associate of the Zamyn since November 2013, which is an independent analytical organisation working at the intersection of socio-economic, political and cultural theory and practice.

Ms Dawood was asked to join AgangSA in 2013, under the leadership of Dr Mamphela Ramphele for a period of six months. This involved establishing a new political platform to strengthen democracy in South Africa.

Before joining the FW de Klerk Foundation as Director of the Centre for Unity in Diversity, Ms Dawood had stepped out of her comfort zone to assume the position of Business Development and Fundraising Executive at the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO). This entailed managing the business strategy and fundraising drive for the CPO, including addressing issues of diversity, building career paths for talented musicians and crucially ensuring the financial sustainability of the CPO, which has gone from an organisation perpetually in the red to one that is growing its endowment fund.




Jul 26, 2017

While the taste of victory in 1994 for South Africans of every hue was sweet, the reality of operationalising the dream was much harder, yet people remained steadfast.

Fast-forward to 2017 and we gaze into a country in decline.

For what seems like forever, the daily lives of many South Africans have been consumed by a diet of boldfaced lies, misdeeds and misdirections. The greater the attempt to glaze over the truth by some politicians and civil servants, the harder the response from civil society and the media to expose and ‘roast’ them in the courts of law, enabled by a robust Constitution.

The #GuptaLeaks opened a Pandora’s Box that is proving impossible to close. South Africans across race, class, ethnicity and other real and imagined divides have stridently condemned corruption and state capture and are demanding accountability. Civil society organisations refuse to be cowed. Sipho Pityana, of Save SA, outlined what he refers to as “a list of your accomplishments”, including the following:

  1. Brian Molefe and Ben Ngubane are no longer at the helm of Eskom
  2. KPMG, McKinsey and Bell Pottinger – Gupta’s professional enablers – are in deep trouble
  3. Our sleepy Parliament has been forced to hold inquiries into state capture
  4. PRASA saved millions from a corrupt contract
  5. Ntlemeza, Jiba and Mrwebi are gone
  6. Even politicians can no longer dispute the evidence of the capture of our state
  7. You made the removal of Zuma the central discussion of the ANC
  8. You’ve stopped the nuclear deal
  9. You have ensured South Africa remains part of the International Criminal Court
  10. You’ve stopped the capture of the SABC
  11. You’ve built consensus on social grants
  12. You’ve improved the independence of the Hawks and the IPID – we still have to ensure that the right person is appointed to head the Hawks but that’s a battle for another day
  13. You’ve exposed the SARS rogue unit narrative as a scam
  14. You’ve inspired Makhosi Khosa

Some of the above deserve a pat on the back while others are firmly work in progress and continue to simmer. Whether these will boil over in the run-up to the ANC’s December conference or its aftermath, is hard to tell. What is clear is that South Africans are not defeated.

For some, it is preferable to throw in the proverbial towel, in boxing parlance, yet for others, the journalist Mondli Makhanya sums it up in a recent op-ed in City Press (23 July 2017), “the tide is turning. It may not be time to start shouting from the rooftops that change is around the corner, but you can certainly sense that times are a-changing. The edifice of corruption, ineptitude, impunity and anti-constitutionalism is beginning to crumble”.

This sentiment was re-affirmed by a broad swathe of civil society organisations who gathered on Mandela Day (18 July 2017), under the leadership of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and Save SA. They declared, at the Conference for the Future of South Africa, that, “it is our undying belief that a government based on the will of the majority must govern in a responsible and ethical manner, in the best social and economic interests of its people and must commit itself to a path that reduces poverty, narrows inequality and achieves social justice”.

The nine-point list of demands in its declaration and particularly the key resolutions to, “campaign and organise and mobilise the people of the country in pursuit of our principle demands and to form a coordinating structure to ensure that our activities have maximum impact, and that we succeed in our mission to stop state capture, recapture the state and rebuild our country in the spirit of the Constitution”, bodes well.

Machiavelli’s words, never waste the opportunity offered by a good crisis and Winston Churchill’s remake of the sentiment, never let a good crisis go to waste, come to mind as we must contemplate how we define the arc of opportunity in the crisis confronting South Africa.

The current bare-boned approach to leadership has failed all South Africans. The country needs dollops of good sense to achieve turnaround, much of which exists, as evidenced by amongst others, Sipho Pityana’s outline of accomplishments. But we need to go beyond what Steven Friedman refers to as ‘gilding’ when he writes in an op-ed, “while some of us hope for a better future, others prefer to improve the past” (Business Day, 26 July 2017). The recent past has proved unviable, and the question to ask is, can the future wait?

Ms Zohra Dawood, Director, Centre for Unity in Diversity.


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