Bullets or Ballots? Ruben Richards book launch

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 · 5:30pm – 8:00pm 

Upstairs at Harry’s, York Street, George 

About Ruben 

Ruben’s current identity labels of Author, Teacher, Speaker do not tell the whole story.

Ruben is 50 years old and a proud South African who resides in Cape Town, South Africa. His professional and academic career has been international, multi-disciplinary and multi-faceted serving in executive and leadership positions in Government, Private Sector Business, Higher Education institutions, and the Faith Community. 

It all started after Ruben completed high school and started his working career as a clothing factory worker and later an apprentice fitter and turner in the marine and general engineering sector. Since qualifying as a tradesman, Ruben has evolved into various roles including becoming an ordained Cleric, Deputy Director-General (DDG)of the now disbanded Scorpions (South Africa’s FBI), CEO of a large engineering company, Business Consultant and visiting adjunct Professor at Wits University’s Graduate School of Public and Development Management. 

These achievements are remarkable noting that Ruben is a first generation Apartheid baby, classified by Apartheid as Coloured, and for whom there was very little chance of succeeding beyond being cheap labour for the Apartheid system. Miraculously, Ruben has triumphed and serves as an inspiration to those who don’t believe that success is possible – even when the odds are stacked against you. 

Current Activities include

  • Writing, Teaching and Advising Clients
  • Visiting Adjunct Professor at Graduate School of Public and Development Management,Wits University
  • Advisor on scarce skills in the Engineering field
  • Business Consultant
  • Non-Executive Company Director 

Born, Raised and Travelled

  • Ruben was born and raised in Cape Town where he completed his schooling and became a tradesman.
  • After completing his first degree in Cape Town, Ruben pursued further higher education opportunities in the USA, Switzerland and Germany.
  •  Soon after graduating with a PhD from the University of Cape Town in 1995, and a short stint as a local and international university lecturer Ruben was absorbed by 10 years of active employment in various mangerial-leadership positions aimed at transforming the criminal justice system of South Africa.
  • After a period of entrepreneurial and business activity, Ruben has again gravitated towards the library bookshelves plying his skills as an Author, Teacher and Speaker.  

Education and Skills

Ruben has completed some engineering studies as well as 4 degrees from three different countries.

  • PhD (Univ of Cape Town);
  • BD (Ruschlikon-Zurich, Switzerland);
  • MTh (Holland-Michigan, USA);
  • BSocSc (Univ of Cape Town)
  • NTC 5 (Mechanical Engineering) – Athlone Technical College, Cape Town 

Executive Positions previously held

  • CEO – Globe Engineering Works, Cape Town (private company)
  • Chairman – Cape Shiprepair Initiative, A government/business liaisson Section 21 company
  • Non-Executive Director and Chairman of Audit Committee –  Africa Cellular Towers (a JSE Alt-X listed company)
  • Deputy Director-General –  Scorpions (National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa)
  • Executive Secretary  – Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)
  • Guest Professor – Albion College, Michigan-USA
  • Lecturer – Wits University
  • Tutor to academically disadvantaged students – University of Cape Town 
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