Date: Jul 19, 2021 Type: Country:

South Africa: Nicholas Maweni appointed Amnesty International South Africa’s board chairperson

Amnesty International South Africa (AISA) announced today the appointment of seasoned business leader Nicholas Maweni as its new board chairperson.

Maweni takes over leading the AISA board in the year that the world’s largest non-governmental human rights organisation is celebrating its 60th anniversary. He takes over from outgoing board chairperson Cynthia Stimpel, the courageous South African Airways whistleblower, who served as chairperson for the past two years.

Maweni, who has impeccable corporate governance, marketing communications and information technology skills, is not not new to the AISA board, which he has diligently served on for the past two years. 

He has both private and public sector experience and is a seasoned executive who has worked in corporate South Africa for various ICT companies and multinationals for over 18 years. 

Maweni has a Master of Law (LLM) and is currently pursuing his doctorate in Law (intellectual property). He is currently the independent non-executive chairperson of the Southern Africa Music Right Organisations (Samro), and board chair of the Valued Citizens Initiative.

He is also formally the Africa marketing director for the world’s leading information technology enterprise application software company SAP, group marketing director for Skynet Worldwide Express and chief marketing executive at IBM Africa. Maweni also served as the managing director for the Black Management Forum (BMF).

Maweni said: “It is a privilege to be taking over the reins as Amnesty International South Africa’s board chairperson at a time when the organisation is celebrating a milestone of six decades of fighting for human rights globally. Organisations such as Amnesty International are important especially during these difficult times when the state of human rights in South Africa and the world are still dire.” 

Amnesty International South Africa’s Executive Director Shenilla Mohamed welcomed Maweni’s appointment as chair of the organisation’s board.

“We are looking forward to working with Nicholas in taking Amnesty International South Africa forward. Nicholas has been a dedicated board member for two years and has contributed immensely to the organisation’s growth. He brings a wealth of knowledge to the role of board chairperson,” Mohamed said.

“There is still a lot to do in South Africa. People are still languishing in poverty in this country with the inequality gap rising every day and many still not enjoying basic human rights that they are entitled to.”

Mohamed also thanked Stimpel for her time serving as Amnesty International South Africa’s board chairperson. 

“We want to thank Cynthia for her time and dedication to Amnesty International South Africa. We are also delighted that Cynthia will be remaining on the board where she will continue to make a contribution to the organisation and fight for human rights,” Mohamed said.

Background

On 28 March 2021, Amnesty International celebrated its 60th anniversary. To mark six decades of the organisation, a film “Freedom Flight”, featuring Amnesty International’s activists in five global landmarks, which included South Africa was released. 

Amnesty International was founded in London in 1961, by British lawyer Peter Benenson who was outraged when two Portuguese students were jailed just for raising a toast to freedom. The organisation’s original focus was obtaining amnesty for prisoners of conscience around the world.

Since then, Amnesty International has grown from seeking the release of political prisoners to upholding the whole spectrum of human rights.

For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Genevieve Quintal, Media and Communications Officer, Amnesty International South Africa: +27 (0)64 890 9224; genevieve.quintal@amnesty.org.za

Public Document 

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Amnesty International South Africa office, 97 Oxford Road, Saxonwold, Johannesburg, 2196

press@amnesty.org