Sello Hatang's bio: Get to know former Nelson Mandela Foundation CEO

Sello Hatang's bio: Get to know former Nelson Mandela Foundation CEO

Sello Hatang is a South African archivist and the former CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. He was at the NGO for close to 15 years before his dismissal in June 2023 after employees complained about his conduct at work.

Mr Sello during the 20th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture at Durban International Convention Centre in November 2022
Former Nelson Mandela Foundation CEO Sello Hatang. Photo: Darren Stewart
Source: Getty Images

Sello Hatang's passion for archival studies motivated him to pursue it as a career. He held various senior positions in several SA companies before his appointment to head the Nelson Mandela Foundation at 37.

Sello Hatang's profile and bio summary

Full nameSello Hatang
Year of birthAround 1976
AgeAround 47 years old in 2023
Place of birthKhuma, North West, South Africa
Current residenceJohannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
NationalitySouth Africa
ReligionChristian (Catholic)
Sexual orientationStraight
Marital statusMarried
ChildrenSon Tshego and daughter Lethabo
SiblingsFive, including sister Nnono
EducationUniversity of Pretoria (BA in Education)
ProfessionArchivist, philanthropist
Social mediaLinkedInTwitterInstagram

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Sello Hatang's biography

Sello joined the Nelson Mandela Foundation in 2009 as the Manager of Information Communications. He was promoted to Chief Executive Officer in 2013 and held the position for about a decade until his dismissal in June 2023.

Hatang served as the Head of Information Communications and the spokesperson for South Africa's Human Rights Commission from 2005 to 2009. He was the Director of the South African History Archive (SAHA) from 2002 to 2005 and worked as a Project Archivist at the Department of Arts, Culture, Science, and Technology from 1998 to 2002.

The executive was on the editorial team for Nelson Mandela's 2010 book, Conversations with Myself. He co-edited Nelson Mandela by Himself: The Authorized Book of Quotations. In 2019, he was given the key to Florence, Italy, to acknowledge his leadership.

Hatang sits on the boards of the Open Democracy Advice Centre and SAHA. He is one of the founding members of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) and is currently a member of the organization's Advisory Council.

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Sello Hatang during The Dignity of Women conversation at UJ in November 2018.
Mr Hatang is an enthusiast in archival studies. Photo: Frennie Shivambu
Source: Getty Images

Sello Hatang's age and early life

Hatang was born around 1976 in Khuma, North West, South Africa, and is approximately 47 years old in 2023. He is the fifth of six siblings raised by a single mother and his grandmother. Sello is the first in his family to go to university. He lost four of his siblings, rendering only himself and his sister Nnono.

Sello Hatang's family

Sello Hatang's wife, Thembi, is a teacher, and the couple is blessed with two children. Their eldest kid is daughter Lethabo Hatang, while the youngest is son Retshegofaditswe Tshego Hatang.

Mr Hatang talking to Michelle Obama in 2011 when she visited Johannesburg.
Sello joined the Nelson Mandela Foundation in 2009. Photo: Foto24
Source: Getty Images

Sello Hatang's education

Hatang is a learned individual with several higher education qualifications. From 1994 to 1997, he studied BA in Education at the University of Pretoria. He did his postgraduate degree in Heritage Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand from 1998 to 1999.

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He gained Records Management and Oral History Collection skills from the National Archives of South Africa from 1999 to 2000. He returned to the University of Pretoria in 2000 to pursue Communication and Leadership and later did an Orality and Preservation workshop at Michigan State University.

In 2017, Sello Hatang received an honorary diploma from Bueno Aires. He is also a 2014 Archbishop Tutu Fellow.

Sello Hatang's contact details

Hatang's contact information during his tenure at Nelson Mandela Foundations is as follows;

  • Email:
  • Phone: +27 115475600

Sello Hatang's latest news

Sello announced his intention to resign as the CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation on 2nd May 2023. However, before he could start serving his 3-month notice, he was placed on special leave to allow for investigations after employee complaints about his personal conduct at the workplace surfaced.

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Sello Hatang during the Nelson Mandela dinner at the annual 69th Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals in May 2016.
Mr Sello was to start his 3-month notice in May 2023 before being placed on special leave. Photo: Neilson Barnard
Source: Getty Images

Why was Sello Hatang dismissed?

After a thorough independent investigation, the board concluded that Mr Sello's behaviour was unacceptable for a person in his position. The foundation chairperson Prof Njabulo Ndebele revealed that Hatang would be summarily dismissed, although he did not detail what the misconduct entails.

After his dismissal, Sello released a farewell statement to the foundation. He thanked the board and the staff and revealed it was time for him to serve somewhere else.

The time, however, has come for me to carry the spirit of service beyond the foundation. The outcome of the investigation is truly unfortunate, thus in the immediate term, I will be focusing my attention on a matter that is vital to who I am and how I can continue to serve in the world, ensuring that my name is restored to reflect the person that I, and others, truly know me to be.

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Who is the head of the Nelson Mandela Foundation?

Board chairman Professor Njabulo Ndebele heads the non-profit organization. The foundation appointed Professor Verne Harris as the acting CEO before they could find someone to fill the position.

Mr Hatang during a media preview of Mandela My Life: The Official Exhibition at the Melbourne Museum in Australia in Sept 2018
Mr Sello was dismissed as the NMF chief executive after complaints about his conduct at the workplace surfaced. Photo: Darrian Traynor
Source: Getty Images

Sello Hatang has positively contributed to South Africa's history as an archivist and philanthropist for about two decades. However, his recent dismissal from a senior position is a major setback to his career, which had been on an upward trajectory.

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Source: Briefly News

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