Leon Wessels

Leon Wessels matriculated at Hoërskool Monument in 1963, obtained an LLB from the University of Potchefstroom in 1972, LLM (cum laude) in 1997 and LLD in 2001 from the Rand Afrikaans University (now UJ).

Has been an advocate of the High Court of South Africa since 1973.

Enjoyed a political career spanning 22 and a half years. Member of Parliament for Krugersdorp; deputy minister of law and order, deputy minister of foreign affairs; numerous cabinet positions, including manpower, planning, provincial affairs and national housing.

Participated in the Codesa Kempton Park negotiations (1991–1994); served as deputy chairperson of the Constitutional Assembly (1994–1996). Stepped down from parliament and politics at the inception of the final Constitution (December 1996).

Served as commissioner to the South African Human Rights Commission between January 1999 and 30 September 2009. Was an associate of the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice at the University of the Free State and also director of the Free State Centre for Human Rights.

Is currently honorary professor of law, Department of Public Law at the North-West University, a member of the Constitution Hill Trust (CHT) and the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac), and legal advisor for Thusang Morwalo (paralegal advice office in Kagiso).

Leon lives in Krugersdorp.


  • Running – Comrades marathon (1983, 1985), New York Marathon (1994)
  • Cycling – Argus tour (1985, 1995)
  • Swimming – Fishhoek mile (2001), Midmar mile (2002, 2003)


Einde van ’n Era – bevryding van ‘n Afrikaner (1994)

My rights! Your rights? Let’s talk (2007)

Vereeniging – die onvoltooide vrede (2010)

Encountering apartheid’s ghosts – from Krugersdorp to Constitution Hill (2020)

Reguit met Robinson: ’n Zoom-gesprek met Leon Wessels

Freek Robinson, Leon Wessels Onderhoude 2021-11-16

Freek Robinson vra vir Leon Wessels of FW de Klerk werklik sy beste gegee het op 2 Februarie 1990, in die daaropvolgende onderhandelings na ’n nuwe grondwet, en by die Waarheid-en-versoeningskommissie.

Onderhoud: Leon Wessels gesels met Jean Oosthuizen oor die spoke van apartheid

Jean Oosthuizen, Leon Wessels Skrywersonderhoude 2020-06-23

"Suid-Afrikaners moet hul meerderwaardigheid oor Afrika eenkant toe vee. Daar is genoeg rede om realisties-optimisties te wees. COVID-19 bring groot stremming, maar bied ook geleentheid om nuut te dink en te doen. Dit vra waagmoedige leierskap."

Open Stellenbosch: The elephant in the room

Leon Wessels Seminare en essays 2015-09-15

"Come, let us create space for Afrikaans as well as the other indigenous languages – English is a world language, it is the greatest common factor among us and will remain standing without special assistance."

Ontgroening: noodsaaklike euwel?

Leon Wessels 2014-11-05 Leon Wessels deel sy gedagtes oor die ontgroeningsdebat.