McIntosh Polela, author, journalist, orator, sport shooter and advocate for civil rights, completed his B-Tech Degree in Journalism at the Durban University of Technology in 2000, through the German Conrad Adenauer Stuftung Scholarship.
His career as a journalist at ETV received a well-deserved leg-up in 2005 when he was awarded the Chevening Scholarship to further his studies in the United Kingdom, going on to earn a Masters Degree in Communication at the London School of Economics (LSE). He received several Vodacom Journalist of the Year awards during his tenure as a senior television journalist – both before and after his return from the United Kingdom (2003, 2004 and 2006).
Polela left journalism for a career in communication in 2010, joining the Hawks as spokesperson, a position in which he was acknowledged a year later as Spokesperson of the Year by the National Press Club for his success in turning around the image of the Hawks, which had taken a nosedive following the disbanding of the Scorpions.
His best-selling memoir, My Father, My Monster was published in 2011 while still working for the Hawks. The memoir earned him the South African Literary Award In 2012.
McIntosh and his boss, Anwa Dramat, as well as several provincial Heads were pushed out of the Hawks in early 2013, in what has since been generally established as part of the then administration's efforts to hollow out law enforcement agencies. In the same year, Polela, a keen hunter, ran afoul of hunting regulations in his home village of Underberg in KwaZulu-Natal, and was subsequently fined for illegal hunting. He embraced the learning experience as character building, putting the isolated incident behind him and continues, as a keen sport shooter and hunter, to enjoy hunting to this day.
A passion for his country and the right of all South Africans to pursue lawful possession of private firearms has brought him into this campaign as a central figure. He is committed to using his influence and standing to sway the negative leaning against private firearm ownership, believing that lawful gun owners and others in SA far outweigh those who wish to see guns banned. "Lawfully owned firearms are indispensable to protect our people and the commercial activity related to firearms in this country, is worth billions of rand and tens of thousands of jobs."