GFSA has three patrons who are deeply committed to non-violence:
Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu
In 1995 Desmond Tutu was selected by then President Nelson Mandela to chair the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, presenting the Commission’s final report to President Thabo Mbeki in 2003. In 2007, Tutu was named a member of The Elders, a group of elder statesmen from around the world working to solve global problems and in 2012 he was awarded $1 million by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation for “his lifelong commitment to speaking truth to power.”
Peter Storey is former president of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, past president of the South African Council of Churches, and was Methodist Bishop of the Johannesburg/Soweto area for 13 years. In the 1980s he became a national leader in the church struggle against apartheid and co-led an ecumenical delegation to the United Nations, the U.S. Congress and Europe, urging intensified pressure on the apartheid regime in 1984. Committed to non-violence and reconciliation, Peter Storey was a founder of the Methodist Order of Peacemakers and Gun Free South Africa. He co-chaired the regional Peace Accord structures intervening in political violence before South Africa’s first democratic elections and was appointed by President Nelson Mandela to help select the nation’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Human Rights Commissioner Pregs Govender
An activist against Apartheid since 1974, Pregs Govender taught English in Durban, before joining the trade union movement in the 80’s. During the negotiated transition, she managed the Women’s National Coalition, which mobilised rural and urban women to impact on SA’s Constitution. As an ANC member, she was elected to the National Assembly in SA’s first democratic election, where she acted as Chairperson of Parliament’s Committee on Women (‘96-‘02). After being the only MP to register opposition to the arms deal in the Defence Budget Vote, Pregs resigned in 2002. In 2009 she was appointed Deputy Chairperson of the South African Human Rights Commission. Pregs’ awards include the first Ruth First Fellowship and the Fulbright New Century Scholarship for the Global Empowerment of Women. She is the author of Love and Courage, a story of Insubordination.