Prof. Thuli Madonsela of Stellenbosch University is globally renowned for her social justice work – but not everyone knows that this inspiring South African 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 (6 August) when Prof. Madonsela personally 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 1200 tonnes of virgin soil, 90 tonnes of peach pips, 40 tonnes of compost and 1500 new roses. The Thuli Madonsela rose is the latest addition to an extensive collection of over 80 types of roses. 

Like Prof. Madonsela, her rose is beautiful and vigorous, with strong roots, and able to thrive even in a stressful environment. 


Anja Taschner, Director of Ludwig’s Roses, which bred and named the rose after Prof. 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.” 

This beautiful rose can be ordered from Ludwig’s Roses. A portion of sales is donated to Prof. Madonsela’s Thuma foundation, founded to deepen and defend democracy and the rule of law.

Vergelegen is currently open to visitors, following strict COVID-19 health and safety protocols. There are 17 magnificent gardens to explore, including the winter-blooming International Camellia Garden of Excellence, one of only two in the Southern Hemisphere.

Guests can enjoy a seated meal at the family restaurant Stables, or the signature restaurant Camphors, alternatively they can order and collect a delicious takeaway meal. 

To visit Vergelegen: Opening hours Monday-Sunday 09h00-17h00 (last entry 16h00). Entrance R10/adults and R5/pensioners and scholars. Pensioners free on Mondays. 

Camphors restaurant: See the Camphors menu here, call 021 8472131 or email

Stables: See the Stables menu here, call 021-847 2156, or email

Ludwig’s Roses:

Thuma Foundation:

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