Remembers Shaun Johnson

Today would like to pay tribute to Shaun Johnson, who passed away late Monday. Shaun served as a non-executive member of since June 2015 and was a close friend and confidant of our team, including our CEO Dana Buys.

“Shaun was such a kind, smart and talented individual. He had a huge passion for South Africa. He dedicated the last 17 years of his life to help create a legacy that will hopefully contribute to the transformation of leadership across the continent, as the MRF graduates take their place in top positions. We will miss him so much, he was a very dear friend to me and my family” said Buys.

Known for being a prolific author, journalist, and activist, Shaun believed deeply in the need for encouraging education and leadership in South African youth.

His legacy is felt widely within the journalism landscape. Shaun was among the first journalists at the Weekly Mail, which rose out of the ashes of the Rand Daily Mail during apartheid. He also served as a deputy editor and political editor of The Star in Johannesburg, editor of the Cape Argus and the Saturday Star and was launch editor of the Sunday Independent. He was a deputy chief executive of Independent News & Media South Africa and a member of the board of governors of Rhodes University. Shaun was also a prolific writer and wrote two books – Strange Days Indeed, which was a collection of his columns, and the poignant The Native Commissioner.

Shaun was also most prominently known for his work as the founding Executive Director of the Mandela Rhodes Foundation. His legacy will live on in the hundreds of students throughout Africa who got to opportunity to further their education thanks to their Mandela Rhodes Scholarships. Shaun’s passion and drive have left an impact on everyone he has come in contact with. He will be remembered for his wisdom, kindness, humour, and wit.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Stefania, Luna, the rest of his family and the many people in South Africa and abroad who counted him as a mentor and as a friend. The team at will greatly miss him and his guidance.

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