Raenette Taljaard

Senior lecturer at Wits University's Graduate School of Public and Development Management

Raenette is a senior lecturer at Wits University’s Graduate School of Public and Development Management.

She was appointed director of the Johanneburg-based Helen Suzman Foundation¬†this year. In 1999, she became the youngest woman elected to Parliament, where she was a member of the portfolio committee on finance and the standing committee on public accounts during the arms deal investigation. She believes that civil society has an important role to play in upholding the values espoused in South Africa’s fledgling, liberal democracy, and plans to expand the Suzman Foundation’s role towards this end through publications – such as the quarterly Focus – research and conferences.

In her spare time, Raenette conducts research on private military companies, publishing for the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of the Armed Forces and the Institute for Security Studies. She holds a string of degrees – a BA in law, a BA honours in political science and an MA in political studies from Rand Afrikaans University (now the University of Johannesburg). She also has an MSc in public administration and public policy from the London School of Economics.

Travelling, collecting Japanese antiques and hiking in the¬†Namib Desert are among Raenette’s hobbies.

Lunch Spot: Haiku, Cape Town; Assagai, Johannesburg