Leon Wessels matriculated at Hoërskool Monument, Krugersdorp in 1963, received an LLB from the University of Potchefstroom in 1972, LLM (cum laude) in 1997 and LLD in 2001 from the Rand Afrikaans University. He has been an Advocate of the High Court of South Africa since 1973. His political career spanned 22 years. He was a Member of Parliament for Krugersdorp, Deputy Minister of Law and Order, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, held numerous Cabinet positions including Manpower, Planning, Provincial Affairs and National Housing. Participated in the CODESA-Kempton Park negotiations (1991-1994), served as Deputy Chairperson of the Constitutional Assembly (1994-1996). Stepped down from parliament and politics at the inception of the final Constitution (December 1996). Served as a Commissioner of the South African Human Rights Commission between January 1999 and 30 September 2009. Was an Associate of the Institute for the Reconciliation and Social Justice at the University of the Free State and also Director of the Free State Centre for Human Rights. Is currently an Honorary Professor of Law, Department of Public Law at the North-West University, a member of the Constitutional Hill Trust (CHT) and the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) and legal advisor for Thusang Morwalo (paralegal advice office in Kagiso).