Pretoria - The Vaal University of Technology (VUT) has appointed Advocate Pansy Tlakula as its first female Chancellor.
The former Chief Electoral Officer of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) was inaugurated on Saturday with pomp and fanfare at the institution's main campus in Vanderbijlpark.
In accepting her appointment, Tlakula said: "I'm truly honoured to be appointed to this high office at the Vaal University of Technology. There's no better honour than that of one's local community.
"The VUT is literally a stone's throw from where I was born. I am so proud of this moment and trust that my term of office will be of benefit to the wider community of the Vaal University of Technology."
In her role as chancellor, she will preside over all the major ceremonies of the VUT including the conferral of degrees and diplomas.
Tlakula is no stranger to academia, she once taught law at the North West University, then known as the University of Bophuthatswana.
As the then chairperson of the Council of the University of the North West, she led the team that negotiated the merger of the then North West and Potchefstroom Universities that formed the North West University.
In 2006, Vaal University recognised and acknowledged her the commitment to human rights by awarding her with an Honorary Doctorate in Legal Studies.
She has successfully led the IEC during the 2004, 2006 and 2009 Elections as well as leading the South African team that assisted several African countries with the management of their elections.
Tlakula is also a member of the African Commission on Human and People's Rights where she is the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa.
She holds a B. Proc degree from the University of the North, an LLB degree from the University of the Witwatersrand and an LLM degree (summa cum laude) from Harvard University.
Tlakula has been admitted as an advocate of the High Court of South Africa.