An accomplished executive, thought leader, writer and educator, Dr Magau’s remarkable career spanned academia, public service and the private sector. She served in senior management roles at the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA), the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and was the founder and owner of B&D Solutions, a consultancy that supports businesses in developing integrated strategies for organisational excellence. Dr Magau also served as Chair of the Board of NTP Radioisotopes and as a member of the boards of Necsa Group (South African Nuclear Energy Corporation), Murray & Roberts, Merrill Lynch South Africa and Santam.
A visionary and passionate advocate for the development of South Africa—and, particularly, of our young leaders—Dr Magau was a key contributor to the Human Resources policy of the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP). In recent years she served as Chair of Izakhiwo Imfundo Trust and the Bertha Gxowa Foundation, on the Board of Trustees of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) and as President of the Business Women’s Association (BWA) and the International Women’s Forum South Africa (IWFSA). Incredibly generous with her time and enormous energy, Dr Magau also served as a mentor to young people and spoke often of the inspiration she drew from her engagements with these young leaders.
As educators, we are most grateful for Dr Magau’s leadership in the research and education spaces. In addition to her enormous contributions to the UCT GSB, during her career she served as a member of the National Research Foundation (NRF) Board, as Chair of the UNISA Foundation Board of Trustees, as a member of the UNISA Council, and on the Council of the University of Durban-Westville (now UKZN). A global scholar, she earned her Doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor’s degree in education from UNISA.
Dr Magau’s exemplary book on leadership, Governance and Leadership: Building a Sustainable Culture of World-Class Leadership, was published by Juta Press in March 2022. At the launch event for the book, which the UCT GSB was privileged to host, Dr Magau described her commitment to equipping people in every sector to lead through complexity and to unlocking the beauty and strength in each person to move the country forward.
Her life’s work left an indelible mark on every person she met and every life she touched. She will be missed and remembered, and the UCT GSB sends its deepest condolences to her family, colleagues and all who grieve with us.