Desmond Tutu

Desmond Mpilo Tutu (born 7 October 1931) is a South African anti-apartheid  and social rights activist, as well as an Angilican clergyman and theologian. He was the first black Archbishop of Cape Town and bishop  of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa. Theologically, he sought to fuse ideas from black theology with African theology.

Born to a poor family in Klerksdorp, Tutu is of mixed Xhosa and Motswana heritage. Moving around South Africa as a child, he trained as a teacher and married Nomalizo Leah Tutu, with whom he had several children. In 1960, he was ordained as a priest and in 1962 moved to the United Kingdom to study theology at King´s College London. After this education he returned to southern Africa, working as a lecturer at the Federal Theological Seminary and then the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. In 1972, he returned to London as the Theological Education Fund’s director for Africa, necessitating regular tours of the continent. Back in South Africa, he took an active role in opposition to the apartheid system of racial segregation and white-minority rule. During the 1980s, he emerged as one of the most prominent anti-apartheid activists within South Africa.

“ Mandela selected Tutu to chair the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate past human rights abuses.“

After Nelson Mandela was freed from prison in 1990 and negotiated the dissolution of apartheid with President F.W. de Klerk, Tutu became a supporter of the new government. Mandela selected Tutu to chair the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate past human rights abuses. Since apartheid’s fall, Tutu has campaigned on other social justice issues; combating poverty, AIDS, and tuberculosis, as well as opposition to forms of prejudice like racism,sexism, homophobia and transphobia.

Tutu has been widely praised for his anti-apartheid activism. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984; the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism in 1986; the Pacem in Terris Award in 1987; the Sydney Peace Prize in 1999; the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2007; and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. He had attracted some criticism for his views on Zionism  and the Israel-Palestine conflict. He has also compiled several books of his speeches and sayings.




The Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, housed within the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre (DTHC) at the University of Cape Town, is committed to the pursuit of excellence in research, treatment, training and prevention of HIV and related infections in Southern Africa.

The Foundation, supported by the Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and his wife, Leah has been in existence as a “not for profit” organization since 2004. The DTHC was previously called the HIV Research Unit based at New Somerset Hospital (1995- 2004). When the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM) was commissioned in 2004, Profs Wood and Bekker were invited to move across to the IDM.

The DTHC is an accredited research grouping within the University of Cape Town and is supported in its work by the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation. The research, clinical and community outreach staff of the Foundation share a common agreed purpose to lessen the impact of the HIV epidemic on individuals, families and communities, through innovation and their passion for humanity.


The Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation is incorporated under the New Companies Act as a not-for-profit company governed through a Memorandum of Incorporation. It has public benefit organization (PBO) status and is VAT registered.  Its governance structure comprises of a Membership, a  Board of Directors, currently with 7 directors (2 executive directors and 5 non-executive directors), an Audit and Risk Committee (a sub-committee of the Board), an Executive Committee and a two-tier management team structure, as shown in the diagram below. The DTHF is affiliated to the University of Cape Town which is represented by a non-executive director on the Board.

DTHF has a comprehensive set of organizational policies including Conflicts of Interest, Child Protection, Reserves and Forex, Risk Management, Fraud and Corruption (including whistle blowing mechanisms), HR policy manual, etc. These policies are available online to all staff members. All financial work process flows are documented and available to all staff online. Policy training logs are kept for all staff.

Company secretarial duties: Meridian Accountants.

Company auditors: Bass Gordon GFH Chartered Accountants

Tax consultants: PricewaterhouseCoopers


The Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is managed through SAP Business One which is a versatile and robust IT system. For the Foundation, it means having a management plan and setting financial controls in a distributed environment where business rules and levels authority are standardized. It provides us with a centralized, enterprise-wide platform which integrates our diverse and complex multi-site, multi-currency grant management environment. The system manages aspects of the Foundation such as finance, assets, progress monitoring of projects and real-time reporting. Standards for corporate governance and compliancy are supported through high levels of transparency. Additionally, the system is extended to users with mobile devices.

The DTHF has achieved higher levels of efficiency through real-time insights provided by SAP Business One. These efficiencies extend to pending grants, projects in-progress, and better controls over procurement and spend & claim processes.

In 2013, the DTHF was awarded the honor medal in the “World Good” category at the Computerworld Honors annual ceremony for the implementation of this integrated ERP system.

The system was developed in partnership with Bluekey Software Solutions, a South African specialist in the implementation, consulting, support and extension of enterprise resource planning, business intelligence and other business solutions. Bluekey Software Solutions continue to support the DTHF through the contribution of its time to ongoing development, ensuring DTHF’ changing requirements are continually met.


DTHF’s Human Resources Manager, Tania Thorton, has more than 14 years’ work experience with a variety of organisations across a diversity of industries. These include financial services, banking, retail and local government. Her range of experience includes  talent acquisition lead (inclusive of talent pipelines with a focus on graduate and learnership recruitment and selection and coaching to performance), human resources management, leadership development, strategic and business alignment; learning and development; job analysis, competency profiling and organisational development and performance management. Tania has a B.Soc Science from the University of Cape Town and completed a host of other training – HR skills-based. She is qualified in the administration of a number of personality assessment tools. She is also a trained and experienced facilitator.


IT infrastructure within DTHF is designed to facilitate communication, collaboration, and interoperability between all sites and provide the necessary tools for implementation.  Sites are equipped with Internet connectivity providing at minimum, adsl connection speeds of 4 Megabits and all SITEs are linked via a Wide Area Network (WAN). Data security and IT infrastructure is overseen by a central IT technician and network manager.  Access to data or other confidential files is heavily restricted through Active Directory security and hardware redundancy.


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