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​​​Dignitas Awards​

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) Alumni Office recognises the achievements and hard work of alumni who have made significant contributions to UJ in their respective field of study, profession, industry, community, region and nations at its Prestigious Annual Dignitas Awards Dinner and Ceremony.

The UJ Alumni Dignitas Awards ceremony celebrates the exceptional achievements of UJ Alumni who have excelled in their professions by honouring recipients with Trophies presented by the Vice Chancellor. The Latin word 'Dignitas' refers to the physical aura that surrounds a person once he or she has fulfilled an important task. This therefore implies the meanings of deserving, merit and worthiness.

Call for Nominations

The University of Johannesburg recognises its thriving alumni by inviting the UJ community to nominate them for the UJ Alumni Dignitas Awards. Graduates from the former RAU, TWR and Vista are incorporated into UJ Alumni, integrating a proud heritage as part of the University's future successes.

Nominations are opened each year, please read through the nomination criteria:

Charter for UJ Alumni Dignitas Awards Committee


Dignitas Award Winners:​

2005 Recipients


Russel Loubser

  • Qualified Chartered Accountant
  • Former Chief Executive Officer of JSE Limited and Chair for the Working Committee


Gary Harwood

  • director at the brand agency Harwood Kirsten Leigh McCoy (HKLM)


Francois Pienaar

  • Captain of the first South Africa team to win the World Cup
  • Voted Rugby Personality of the Year by Britain's Rugby Union Writers' Club in 1995


Olga Sema

  • Organiser for Top Entrepreneurs' competition for EMS learners, and Workshops for EMS Educators
  • Entrepreneurial Project Manager at Olemera


Kieka Mynhardt

  • Prof & Mathematician: University of Victoria in Canada
  • She was graduate advisor of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at UVic for 5 years


2006 Recipients


David Noko

  • Non Executive Director of Astrapak Limited and Managing Director of De Beers Consolidated Mines
  • Took over as Managing Director of DBCM from Jonathan Oppenheimer in February 2006


Prof Nick Beukes

  • Rated an A1 scientist by the National Research Foundation of South Africa since 2001 (received the Draper Medal)
  • Authored or co-authored more than 100 full length research papers in International and National Journals.


Frank Kilbourn

  • Investment banker and businessman
  • Non-Executive Director of City Lodge Hotels Ltd., since 1996


Bill Venter

  • South African businessman, entrepreneur and industrialist
  • Top 100 Lifetime Achiever (Sunday Times Business Times) and Trustee of Pres Mandela's Children's Trust Fund


2007 Recipients


Amos Masondo


Pieter du Preez

  • South African quadriplegic Athlete and an actuarial analyst at Deloitte in Johannesburg


Prof SH (Basie) von Solms

  • Research Professor in the Academy for Computer Science and Software Engineering at the University of Johannesburg
  • Currently Director of the ITU-UJ Centre for Cyber Security of the University of Johannesburg and Fellow of the British Computer Society (FBCS)

Dr Reena Ramparsad

  • Coordination of Curriculum Implementation of the Gauteng Province: Education

Prof Desiree Vorster

  • Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Johannesburg


2008 Recipients


Jansie Niehaus

  • Executive Director of the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF)


Prof Herman Alberts

  • Retired with a B-rating from the NRF
  • Awarded MT Steyn Medal for Scientific and Technical Achievement by South African Academy for Arts and Science in 2007


Marthinus van Schalkwyk


2009 Recipients


Jimmy Manyi

  • President of Progressive Professionals Forum
  • Former CEO of Government Communications and Information Systems and Cabinet Spokesperson


Maira Koutsoudakis

  • Established herself as an international multi-award-winning designer.
  • She and her team received 'Best of the Best in the World' and 'Best Hotel in Africa, Middle East and the Indian Ocean Islands' award


2010 Recipients


Nicholas Hlobo

  • Rolex Visual Arts Protégé for 2010/11
  • Winner of the Tollman Award for the Visual Arts 2006, and the Standard Bank Young Artist for Visual Art 2009


Tim du Plessis

  • Member of the SA National Editor's Forum and Chair of the Nieman Fund Trust of Southern Africa
  • Was Editor of Beeld at Media24 Limited, from being a Journalist since 1976


2011 Recipients


Raenette Taljaard

  • Elected as Member of Parliament in 1999
  • Nominated as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2005


Magatho Anthony Mello

  • Founder and managing partner of two businesses namely Intoto Solutions (Pty) Ltd and Maraswi Consulting Services (Pty) Ltd.


2012 Recipients


Gideon Sam

  • SASCOC President
  • Former Headmaster and President of Swimming South Africa


Herman Bosman

  • Was CEO of Deutsche Bank since November 2006
  • Responsible for Deutsche Bank's South African strategic operations direction and for the leadership of its corporate finance platform


Pietie Coetzee

  • Represented South Africa in 2 Commonwealth Games, 3 World Cups and at the 2000, 2004 and 2012 Summer Olympics
  • Top goal scorer at the 2002 Women's Hockey World Cup held in Perth, Western Australia

2012 - 1.PNG 

Clifford Ross

  • Appointed Chief Executive of City Lodge Hotels Group in 2002
  • Awarded the Tourism Business Leadership Award in 2011


2014 Recipients

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Mary Sibanda

  • Graduated with a National Diploma in Fine Arts from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) in 2004, followed by a B-Tech in Fine Art in 2007
  • Explores themes of gender, class and race through the sculptural representation of her alter ego, Sophie, whom is dressed in altered domestic worker uniforms​

2014 - 2.PNG 

Judge Ronnie Bosiele

  • Judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal
  • Reached the highest judicial office in South Africa (SA) of all UJ Law graduates and recommended by the JSC to the President for appointment to the Constitutional Court, although he was not appointed


2015 Recipients

Alex Harris image.jpg

Alex Harris

  • Athlete, speaker and passionate advocate for living purpose filled lives
  • Became the youngest person ever to lead an expedition to Mount Everest at age 25 in 1996

2015 - 1.PNG

Simphiwe Dana

  • ​​Appointed as the first global African ambassador for Amnesty international
  • Toured Europe with her previous two albums, claimed the number 1 spot with her Kulture Noir on the German World Music Charts and the number 3 spot on the European Music Charts. Simphiwe is a socio‐cultural activist who has been