THE North-West University (NWU) Council has elected a new chairperson and deputy chairperson.
Bert Sorgdrager, a seasoned legal professional with more than 30 years’ experience in the private sector, was elected as the sixth chairperson of the NWU Council.
Obakeng Mongale, an experienced public servant and the current superintendent general for the North West Department of Health, will serve as deputy chairperson.
This follows the resignation of the previous chairperson, Dr Bismark Tyobeka, who has since been appointed principal and vice-chancellor of the NWU.
“I am proud to continue serving my alma mater and consider it a privilege to be looking after the interests of the NWU, both currently and in the future,” says Sorgdrager.
His association with the university goes back to his enrolment in 1977 for, and his completion of the BJuris (1979) and LLB (1981) degrees at the then Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education, now the NWU.
Sorgdrager, currently an attorney at Van Deventer Dlamini Inc, previously served the NWU Council as acting chairperson and deputy chairperson.
He has been a Council member since 2017 (elected from the ranks of the Convocation) and has been a member of the executive committee of the NWU Council since September 2018.
His association with the NWU includes serving on various committees and being an exco member since August 2014, and president of the NWU Convocation since April 2018. He has also been the chairperson of the NWU Alumni Association since August 2014 and the representative of the Potchefstroom Campus alumni since 2012.
Sorgdrager spent most of his career in banking, specifically at Nedbank, where he served as legal adviser and also held various management positions in risk management.
Mongale, on the other hand, is also a proud alumnus of the NWU, having obtained a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in Management, and a master’s degree in Industrial Psychology.
He holds an honours degree in Industrial Psychology and a bachelor’s degree in Administration from the former University of Bophuthatswana, now the NWU.
He is an Oliver Tambo fellow (Postgraduate Diploma in Health Management) at the University of Cape Town (UCT).
Mongale is currently studying towards a master’s degree in Philosophy in Conflict Transformation at the Nelson Mandela University.
“I am honoured to serve as deputy chairperson and am committed to fulfilling this essential role in the Council,” says Mongale.
His previous experience includes serving on various Council committees such as the executive and tender committees, as well as on the medical school task team and the extended exco.
He became a Council member in 2017 after being appointed as ministerial representative and started serving his second term from September 2020.
Mongale is a former head of the Department of Public Works in North West, and of Public Works, Roads and Infrastructure in the Limpopo provincial government. During his tenure as the head of department at Public Works in North West, the department won several awards.
He previously served the North West Department of Health as director for Human Resources, then as chief director for Corporate Services and as head of department. From October 2010 to September 2013 Mr Mongale returned to the North West Department of Health, where he was responsible for health support and specialised hospital services.
Mongale served as board member at the Johannesburg Property Company (April 2019 to March 2020), which is a company of the City of Johannesburg. He was also a member of the board of trustees of the Health Systems Trust, where he served as chairperson of the board’s HR committee and as a member of the finance committee (2010 to 2013).