Mr Dave Steward

theuns eloffChairman, 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.

Adv Jacques du Preez  

jacques du preezChief Executive Officer, FW de Klerk Foundation

Adv Du Preez was educated at Centurion High School and holds an LLB degree from the University of Pretoria and a Master’s Degree (LLM) in Public Law from the University of Stellenbosch. As part of his postgraduate studies he completed international criminal law training at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania.

He practised as an advocate and member of the Cape Bar from June 2007 until May 2011 – when he joined the Foundation’s Centre for Constitutional Rights as Operational Officer. During the following three years he made a valuable contribution to the CFCR’s activities – particularly in the areas of human rights monitoring, reporting and advocacy and in preparing submissions to Parliament and human rights bodies on draft legislation and human rights violations.

He resumed his practice as advocate of the High Court between June 2014 and May 2018 – after which he took up an appointment in Switzerland as Legal Training Director at International Bridges to Justice – an international NGO based in Geneva. In this capacity, he directed and facilitated international criminal justice, rule of law, trial advocacy and human rights skills training initiatives and workshops in conflict and post-conflict countries. Working with various justice sector stakeholders Jacques has trained justice officials in Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Syria and the Philippines. 

Jacques is a former mentor with the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, a member of the Association of Defence Counsel practicing before the International Criminal Tribunals in the Hague, an affiliated expert with the International Nuremberg Principles Academy (Nuremberg) as well as rostered counsel with the United Nations Ombudsperson’s Office for the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al’Qaida Sanctions Committee.

Jacques has also represented South Africa internationally in England and France in the sport of Biathle (Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne).


[block border=”1px dashed #dedede”]

icon-statementsIf you would like to invite an FW de Klerk Foundation spokesperson to speak at your event, please click here to complete our speaker request form.