The former public protector, Professor Thuli Madonsela of Stellenbosch University, is globally renowned for her social justice work – but not everyone knows that she also has an exquisite rose named after her.
The blooming good news is that visitors to Vergelegen wine estate in Somerset West will be able to view the beautiful pink and white, hybrid tea-shaped roses in the wine estate’s magnificent rose garden this summer.
“We were greatly honoured this Women’s Month (August 6) when Prof Madonsela planted her namesake rose at the estate,” says Vergelegen MD Wayne Coetzer. “Vergelegen has long been associated with powerful, visionary women, such as former owner Lady Florence Philips, who was a great social reformer and patron of the arts. We are delighted to now have a Thuli Madonsela rose in our collection.”
Vergelegen’s famous rose garden was revamped in 2016 in a huge horticultural undertaking involving 1,200 tons of virgin soil, 90 tons of peach pips, 40 tons of compost and 1,500 new roses. The Thuli Madonsela rose is the latest addition to a collection of more than 80 types of roses.
Anja Taschner, Director of Ludwig’s Roses, which bred and named the rose after Madonsela when she was appointed Professor of Law at Stellenbosch University, has said: “Thuli Madonsela is a woman of great character, a woman who for South Africa symbolises what the Lady Justice stands for. With this rose we honour all who take a stand for what is morally correct, we honour Prof Madonsela for her achievements and give her the nobility of the rose to continue her pursuits.”
Vergelegen is open to visitors, following strict Covid-19 protocols. There are 17 magnificent gardens to explore. Guests can also enjoy a seated meal at the family restaurant Stables, or the signature restaurant Camphors.