Short Course on Ethical Leadership and Public Accountability

26 May 2017 - 10:30

UCT’s Graduate School of Development Policy and Practice will be running an executive short course on Ethical Leadership and Public Accountability on 8-11 May 2018 and again from 27 - 30 June. The course will be convened by three leading experts in public accountability, governance and leadership and aims to provide practical skills to navigate the kinds of complex ethical issues currently facing our democracy.

The course is targeted at senior executives, including managers and professionals working in the public service or with municipalities, state-owned enterprises, the non-profit sector and private sector organisations who have to grapple with difficult ethical issues. It will have a R15 000 registration fee, which will include tuition fees, course materials, conference venue, lunch and tea.

Limited scholarship assistance may be made available on a competitive and needs-based basis. Expressions of interest can be made online and queries should be directed to Wendy Hendricks.



Who will benefit from the course?

This course is targeted at executives, managers and professionals working the public service or municipalities, state-owned enterprises, the non-profit sector and private sector organisations who have to grapple with difficult ethical issues.


Course Summary

The contemporary world demands deeper levels of ethical intelligence and higher standards of public accountability than ever before.  At the same time, the fractured and uncertain nature of current global and national dynamics puts pressures on our public institutions that make ethical leadership increasingly necessary and challenging.  The legitimacy of our public institutions and their integrity is being undermined by shrinking resources and new patterns of corruption and patronage.

The course assumes that public service and government administration are necessarily complex, dynamic and contested realms that require a public servant to navigate fine lines between principle and pragmatism, politics and administration, means and ends as well as short and long-term requirements.  It is an arena where there are no easy answers to ethical questions, where the appropriate response is invariably specific to the particular context and where practitioners have to be able to accept the inevitable ambiguity and nuance involved in trying to do good in the “grey zone.”

The short course focuses on helping participants to better understand and enact their ethical responsibility in this context, as well as to provide leaders and managers in the public service and other sectors with a set of insights, concepts, skills and tools that enable them:

  • To act with integrity and moral courage in their private and public lives.
  • To make ethically responsible decisions about the many ethical dilemmas that they face as part of the everyday task of being a leader in public life.
  • To put in place the policies, mechanisms and practices in their organisation that promote good governance and accountability, minimize corruption and generate sound ethical behaviour.
  • To grapple more effectively with some of the unresolved ethical questions that the world and the country is grappling with at the current moment and that require intensive thought and bold leadership.


Course Structure

The course is structured to take participants through a process that is both intellectually challenging, emotionally powerful and practically useful.  The programme comprises a mix of theory, case studies and simulation as inputs to a process of individual reflection and intense group dialogue.  

The first two days of the course focus on individual agency and ethical leadership and on the institutional policies, practices and politics surrounding anti-corruption reforms. Day three has a particular emphasis on understanding and confronting corruption and state capture. The final day of the course pulls the different themes together and integrates the learning with a focus on ethical leadership and accountability.

Each day is divided into four sessions: two morning sessions separated by a tea break; and two afternoon sessions. Attendance and participation in all class sessions is mandatory in order to receive the UCT short course certificate. 


Course Reader

Prescribed readings will be assigned for each session. Readings will be made available on the course Vula (learning platform) site once applicants have registered for the course.


Course Co-Convenors:

Dr Marianne Camerer

Marianne Camerer is the Programme Director of Building Bridges, the leadership development platform at the Graduate School of Development Policy and Practice. Prior to joining UCT, Marianne co-founded the international anti-corruption NGO Global Integrity and serves as a trustee of The Global Integrity Trust. She previously headed anti-corruption research at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), was a founding director of the Open Democracy Advice Center (ODAC) and lectured in applied ethics at the University of Stellenbosch. She holds masters’ degrees in public policy and political philosophy from Oxford and the University of Stellenbosch and has published in the governance field. Her Ph.D. in Political Studies, from the University of Witwatersrand, was on “Corruption and Reform in Democratic South Africa” with a particular focus on the arms deal. Marianne is a Yale World Fellow and spent a semester in New Haven as a Fellow of the Yale Council on African Studies. She is passionate about leadership development and trained as an integral coach through UCT’s Centre for Coaching at the Graduate School of Business. Marianne is an Advisory Board member of CAPI, the Centre for the Advancement of Public Integrity, at Columbia Law School, New York, and the Allard Prize for International Integrity at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. 


Adv Vusi PIkoli

Advocate Vusi Pikoli, is the current Western Cape Police Ombudsman, a position he has held since December 2014. He previously served as Commissioner on the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of Police Inefficiency and a Breakdown in Relations between SAPS and the Community in Khayelitsha. He served as a Special Advisor to the Minister of Justice in the first democratic government of South Africa and in 1999 was appointed as the Director-General in the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development until 2005. From 2005 to 2009 he served as the National Director of Public Prosecutions and head of the National Prosecuting Authority until his fall out with government over the investigation and prosecution of the National Commissioner of Police (who was later convicted of fraud and sentenced to 15 years). Adv Pikoli is a former director of the Forensic Investigation division at SizweNtsalubaGobodo, a former trustee of the Constitutional Court Trust and one of the founding executives of the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities (“IAACA”). He is also a board member of Corruption Watch and an independent non-executive director of SacOil and on the board of Cricket South Africa (“CSA”), where he chairs the Social and Ethics Committee and is a member of the Audit Committee. He is a recipient of the International Association of Prosecutors award for protecting prosecutorial independence. His book, My Second Initiation, co-authored with Mandy Wiener, provides an insider’s perspective on some of South Africa’s key corruption cases and reveals how Pikoli grappled with the dilemma of prosecuting friends and comrades and navigated through repeated attempts at political interference.


Mr David Schmidt

David Schmidt is a Director of Strategies for Change, an independent consultancy specializing in leadership, innovation and strategy.   He has been a prominent figure in developing regional and city strategies in South Africa and in facilitating multi-stakeholder dialogue.  He has been a member of the top management teams of both the Cape Town Metropolitan Council and the City of Cape Town and has consulted extensively to many of South Africa’s major cities, the South African Cities Network and the national government departments.  He is a seasoned local government expert with well-developed process facilitation and change management skills. Most recently David has worked as a facilitator between the taxi industry and the City of Cape Town and as transaction advisor for the establishment of the Integrated Rapid Transport Vehicle Operating Company. David has a strong interest in leadership and has run a number of innovative programmes to build leadership capacity including an international shoulder to shoulder top management exchange programme and a municipal leadership peer review programme.  He has degrees in public management, economics and law. He has written many articles and book chapters on public leadership and municipal reform.  He has a long history of involvement in civic affairs and has inter alia chaired the Board of the Development Action Group in Cape Town and the Grove Primary School Governing Body. He is a trustee of the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation.