Detail as follows: Jóhannes Stefánsson became the whistleblower to expose corruption and wrongdoing against the people of Namibia by his Icelandic employer Samherji and complicit Namibian government officials. Jóhannes reported the Fishrot cases to the Namibian authorities in August 2018 and in October 2019 he reported the cases to authorities in Iceland. In November 2019 there was a media exposure of Fishrot by Wikileaks, Al Jazeera, Icelandic medias RUV and Stundin, as well as the Namibian newspapers. Jóhannes is a representative for whistleblowers throughout Africa, and their contribution was celebrated with the bestowal of the Order of the Baobab.
Mr Bob Collymore(2019)
Mr Bob Collymore (2019 – post humous (†) 1 July 2019)
Bob Collymore received the award for his principled stance against corruption and his efforts in urging good corporate governance and ethical leadership in business. In his appointment to the UN Global Compact board, his passion for driving the message that business had an irrevocable social responsibility, was recognized and further encouraged. He was described by those who worked for, and with him, as ‘larger than life’, encompassing an enthusiasm and kindness that radiated through all his endeavours. He had a deep compassion for the vulnerable and less fortunate in society, and so he constantly strived to help and uplift them. Through his visionary and exemplary leadership, he became a house-hold name in his adopted country of Kenya, and beyond.
Mr Pravin Gordhan(2017)
Pravin Gordhan received the award for his unwavering moral courage in the face of unrelenting adversity which laid siege to his unquestionable integrity. In a time when corruption and sycophancy threaten a long ethical twilight, Pravin Gordon’s battle against such an immoral hegemony reminds us of the struggle required to realise just and fair outcomes for all. The personal sacrifices he has made in the pursuit of an ethical society stand as a beacon and inspiration to all those who work in the service of the greater good. His example reminds us all that the individual cannot find refuge in the multitude or the organisation when complicity and silence erode the ethical foundations of our social contract.
Adv Thuli Madonsela (2016)
Adv. Thuli Madonsela received the award for her unquestionable and explicit adherence to the rule of law and the principles of democracy, underpinned by an unequivocal commitment to good governance in practice and ethical leadership. She opened spaces for thought leadership in ethical practice and a values-driven economy, both nationally and globally; and her distinguishing trait of equanimity in the face of adversity makes her the epitome of the esteemed ethical servant leader.
Prof Mervyn King(2016)
Prof Mervyn King received the award for his invaluable contribution to ethical leadership and governance in business and society in South Africa and around the world. His strong advocacy of transparency, stakeholder inclusivity, responsible corporate citizenship, ethical leadership and integrated thinking is embedded in the world-renowned series of King Reports and the work of the International Integrated Reporting Council. His legacy would guide global practice in corporate governance and decision making for many years to come.
Prof Willie Esterhuyse(2014)
Prof Esterhuyse received the award for his invaluable contribution to pioneering Business Ethics in Africa by introducing a critical discourse on the social responsibility of business as a theoretical discipline in South African Universities and Business Schools and making this discourse accessible to business leaders, policy-makers and the public at large.