Advocate Gumbi is a human rights lawyer, who has worked as both an Attorney and Advocate and has over 30 years of experience in private practice, public policy development and African conflict resolution.
She holds Law degrees from the University of Limpopo (former University of the North) and the University of Witswatersrand, as well as a certificate in Trial Advocacy from the University of Texas in Austin.
Advocate Gumbi acted as the Head of the Adjudication Secretariat of the Independent Electoral Commission during South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994.
She was the Special Advisor to South African President Thabo Mbeki from 1999 to 2008. From 1994 to 1999, she was an Advisor to the then Deputy President Mbeki in the Mandela administration. During this time, she spearheaded South Africa's economic diplomacy, ensuring a global presence for South African companies, as well as peace-making initiatives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Sudan, Lesotho, Somalia, the Balkans and the Middle East. At the same time, she also provided advice to the Presidential Office on domestic policy issues including the reform of the local healthcare industry, the expansion of South African telecoms operators to the rest of Africa and the world, banking and mining sector reforms.
Advocate Gumbi serves and has served on the boards of many companies, trusts and philanthropic foundations, including the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, the Open Society Foundation, the Southern African Political and Economic Trust, the Black Lawyers Association and the Thabo Mbeki Foundation.
She also served on the Councils of the former University of the North (now the University of Limpopo) and the former Technikon of the Witwatersrand (which merged with the former Rand Afrikaans University in 2005 to form the University of Johannesburg).