Travels From

South Africa


Cape Town

State | County | Province

Western Cape

Speaker Bio

Tony Leon is an award-winning author, noted speaker and consultant, and has had two highly successful careers in both frontline South African politics and international diplomacy.

Currently the Chairman of Resolve Communications (Pty) Ltd., he also consults to business in South America and South Africa, writes columns for South Africa’s leading newspapers, and speaks to various audiences.


For nearly twenty years Tony Leon was a Member of Parliament in South Africa, and for thirteen years he led the Democratic Alliance.

He is the longest serving Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, since the advent of democracy in April 1994.


A trained lawyer, Leon actively participated in the critical constitutional negotiations that led to the birth of a democratic South Africa.

He has been at the forefront of national and international events, both as a front-ranking parliamentarian and renowned orator and writer and as a Vice- President of Liberal International.

He has addressed many international conferences, institutes and think tanks from the Council on Foreign

Relations (Washington DC, and New York City) and the Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House), London, to the German Council on Foreign Relations, Berlin, the European Parliament in Brussels and to the World Economic Forum, Oxford Union and Yale Political Union.


Tony Leon has been widely published in academic journals and in the media and has authored articles for inter alia, Time Magazine, The Spectator, Harvard International Review, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Financial Times, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Daily Telegraph, and the New Statesman.

Tony Leon

He has published five books: “Hope and Fear: Reflections of a Democrat” (Jonathan Ball 1998), the SA bestsellers “On the Contrary: Leading the Opposition in a Democratic South Africa” (Jonathan Ball 2008),

Which won the prestigious Recht Malan Prize for nonfiction that year. Pan MacMillan published “The Accidental Ambassador”,

April 2013. In May 2014, he launched his new book “Opposite Mandela – Encounters with South Africa’s Icon”, to critical acclaim.

In 2021, his latest book “Future Tense -Reflections on my Troubled Land” was published in both South Africa and in the United Kingdom.

Historian Niall Ferguson wrote, “Anyone who wants to understand South Africa today…simply has to read this book.”

After standing down from the leadership of the opposition in 2007, he was awarded a Fellowship at the Institute of Politics, John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

He led a study group and seminar series on Development and Democracy in Africa”. In 2008 he was invited as a fellow to the Cato Institute in Washington DC, where he published a paper on liberal democracy in Africa:



On the nomination of the President of South Africa, he served as South African Ambassador to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, based in Buenos Aires, from 2009 to 2012.


In 2016 and 2017, he was visiting professor of political practice at the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy, IDC, Herzliya, Israel.


In February 2015, on the occasion of its 90th anniversary, Rotary Club of Durban awarded him the Paul Harris Fellowship “in appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world.”


Nelson Mandela said of Tony Leon, on his retirement from political leadership

(2007):”Your contribution to democracy is enormous, you have more support for all you have done than you might ever read about.”

Keynote # 1

Future Tense - 9 Signposts on the Road to South Africa's Future

Tony Leon's best-selling new book "Future Tense - Reflections on my Troubled Land " (Jonathan Ball Publishers, South Africa; Icon Books, London) contains rich data, telling anecdotes and the back stories which have led South Africa to the edge-of-the-cliff in 2021.

  • Will the country recover?
  • Will the economy collapse?
  • Could the ANC lose power and who will replace it?
  • Are we en route to a failed state by the end of the decade?
  • Can the Rainbow Nation be rediscovered ?


Tony Leon tells all in this riveting address.

Keynote # 2

Leadership for Tough Times.

Tony Leon led and grew the official opposition party in South Africa from the brink of extinction in 1994 to the second largest party and government in the Western Cape in a period of 13 years. His close up encounters with some of the leading figures in the country -from Mandela to Ramaphosa -and in the wider world give him unique access and authority to ask how to lead in the toughest times.

The future, in our Covid-cratered world,' is not what it used to be'.

He offers key lessons in resilience from business to the battlefields in how strong and empathetic leaders meet the challenges of change.

Keynote # 3

Red Dragon Rising - The Coming Clash between the Superpowers

The two largest economies and military forces in the world - the United States and China are on a collision course in the Pacific with global implications for the whole world.

Tony Leon, who served as an ambassador and  diplomat and was awarded a Fellowship at the Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, weighs the odds on whether the cold war between these superpowers can engulf us in escalating  conflicts or be resolved or tempered.


Future Tense - 9 Signposts on the Road to South Africa's Future

Leadership for Tough Times.

Red Dragon Rising - The Coming Clash between the Superpowers

Open hours today: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Monday

    8:00 am - 5:00 pm

  • Tuesday

    8:00 am - 5:00 pm

  • Wednesday

    8:00 am - 5:00 pm

  • Thursday

    8:00 am - 5:00 pm

  • Friday

    8:00 am - 5:00 pm

  • Saturday

    By appointment only

  • Sunday

    By appointment only

  • 2 December 2021 12:40 am local time

Live Fee Range
Virtual Fee Range
Contact Calendar
December 2021
Contact Me:

  • +27 21 300 0388

  • +27 (0) 82-467-8452

  • South Africa

  • Cape Town

  • Western Cape

Please complete my contact form below and I will respond to your request within:

4 Hours

      • No Reviews Yet.
      • Add a review