Mr Dave Steward
Chairman, FW de Klerk Foundation Board
David Whitefoord Steward was born on 23 May 1945 in Nairobi, Kenya. He was educated in Canada, St John’s School, Leatherhead in the United Kingdom and at the Universities of Stellenbosch and South Africa.
Mr Steward entered the South African Foreign Service in December 1966 and served in Canberra (1968 – 1971): Ottawa as Deputy Head of Mission (1976 – 1978) and at the United Nations in New York, Deputy Permanent Representative (1978 – 1980) and Ambassador (1981-82). Between 1983 and 1985 he was responsible for negotiations on the independence of Namibia within the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Mr Steward served as Head of the South African Communication Service from 1985 until 1992. During this period he was responsible for repositioning the SACS as a provider of central communication services to the Government and for transforming the organisation to run according to business principles. In August 1992 he was appointed as Chief Government Spokesman within the Office of the President. Soon afterwards, in November 1992 he was appointed as Director-General (Chief of Staff) in the Office of President F W de Klerk. He served in this capacity and as Secretary to the Cabinet until May 1994. From May 1994 until October 1996 he was the Head of Mr De Klerk’s Office while the former President served as Executive Deputy President in the Government of National Unity.
Mr Steward retired from the public service in October 1996 and established his own consultancy specialising in public communication in which capacity he has carried out assignments for a number of clients, including the Government of the Western Cape Province.
Since his retirement from the public service Mr Steward has continued to work closely with former President FW de Klerk. He has been his principle speechwriter since 1990 and co-authored his autobiography “The Last Trek, a New Beginning” (Macmillan, 1999). He and the former President established the FW de Klerk Foundation in June 1999 and its Centre for Constitutional Rights in 2006. He served as the Foundation’s Executive Director since its establishment until 2016.
He is currently Chairman of the FW de Klerk Foundation’s Board of Directors.
Dr Theuns Eloff
Chair, FW de Klerk Foundation Board of Advisors
Dr Eloff was born in Potchefstroom in 1955 and obtained a Master’s Degree in Theology at Potchefstroom University for CHE. He served for six years as a minister of the Gereformeerde Church in Brooklyn, Pretoria and during this period obtained his Doctorate in Theology.
Following his participation in a meeting with ANC representatives in Dakar in July 1987, he left the ministry and joined the Consultative Business Movement (CBM). After his appointment as Executive Director of the CBM in 1990, he was involved in the process that led to the National Peace Convention and to the National Peace Accord in September, 1991. He later served as the head of the Process and Secretarial Services of the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) and subsequently acted as Head of the Administration of the Multiparty Negotiation Process. In the run-up to the first non-racial national elections in April 1994, Dr Eloff was seconded to the Transitional Executive Council as Deputy Executive Director. In February 1995 he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the National Business Initiative for Growth, Development and Democracy. On 1 January 2002 Dr Eloff was appointed Vice-Chancellor and Rector of his old university, Potchefstroom University for CHE. When the university merged with the University of the North West in Mafeking in 2004 to form Northwest University, Dr Eloff became the new university’s first Vice-Chancellor and Rector. He served in this capacity until 2015. Dr Eloff as appointed as the Executive Director of the FW de Klerk Foundation in 2016 and continued in this role until end May 2019. He was appointed as Chair of the Foundation's Board of Advisors as of 1 June 2019.