Tembinkosi Bonakele has been the Commissioner of the South African Competition Commission since 2013. Mr Bonakele joined the Commission in 2004 and occupied various positions in the Commission’s core divisions. He was appointed Deputy Commissioner in 2008, and prior to that worked as head of mergers, head of compliance, and senior legal counsel respectively. Mr Bonakele’s accomplishments at the Commission include establishing the Cartels division. He has worked on all of the Commission’s major cases and overseen its policy evolution for over ten years. He has been involved in negotiating most of the Commission’s ground-breaking settlements and helped develop the Commission’s Corporate Leniency Policy, amongst others.
Mr Bonakele is an admitted attorney and previously practised with Cheadle Thompson and Haysom in Johannesburg largely in the areas of labour law, regulation, and health and safety. He has also spent a year working in corporate finance and antitrust groups at Clifford Chance, New York office. He is a an adjunct visiting professor of law at Wits Law School, an Associate of the European Summer School and Conference in Competition and Regulation of Athens University of Economics and Business, a Fellow of the University of Johannesburg’s Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development and a Board Member of the University of Stellenbosch’s Centre for Competition Law and Economics. He has published widely in academic journals and writes for newspapers and business magazines on competition matters.
He has recently co-edited a book titled, Competition Law for the New Era. He holds a BJuris and an LLB from the University of Fort Hare and an MBA from Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria. He took law and social science courses at the University of Amsterdam as an exchange student. Mr Bonakele currently serves as the Chairperson of the African Competition Forum, is a member of the BRICS competition forum and a member of the International Competition Network Steering Group. Bonakele is also a member of the JSE’s Take-Over Regulation Panel and is the Chairperson of Buffalo City Development Agency. Bonakele is an activist who has been a leader in the youth and student movement and is a former President of the Student Representative Council of the University of Fort Hare.
He is a recipient of the Black Management Forums’s Black Excellency Award and is a regular speaker at international competition policy conferences.