He graduated from UNISA with BA degree in 1975. He then studied at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium where he completed a Bachelor of Philosophy cum laude in 1976. This was followed by a Master’s Degree in Philosophy magna cum laude in 1978 from the same university. He holds a PhD from the University of Natal, an honours degree in international politics from UNISA and completed an advanced management programme at Harvard University.
His academic career spans over two decades at universities in South Africa and abroad, including universities of Transkei, Witwatersrand, Western Cape and Pretoria. He was also visiting professor at the North Eastern University, Boston, Massachusetts. For three years he was Research Executive Director at the Human Sciences Research Council. He is published widely, locally and internationally. He has held fellowships at universities of Oxford, Harvard, Princeton and Stanford. From 1996 to 1998 he was professor extraordinaire in the Department of Political Science at the University of South Africa (UNISA).
He joined the private sector in 1998 as Director at the South African Breweries until 2004. He served as a non-executive director of Discovery Holdings Limited, Tongaat Hulett and Rand Mutual Assurance Company Limited (Chairman).
He was convenor of Mont Fleur Scenarios in the early nineties, as well as Dinokeng Scenarios in 2008.
He was Chairman of the Presidential Review Commission, a body set up by then president Nelson Mandela to investigate government restructuring and service delivery. He served a term as chairman of the SABC from 1999 – 2003. As well as Council Chair of the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He is currently Chairman of the National Responsible Gambling Programme (NRGP).
In 2010, he has been appointed as one of the Commissioners on the National Planning Commission.