In 1996 Cyril Coetzee was commissioned by the University of the Witwatersrand to paint a 28 square meter canvas for the William Cullen Library, an internationally renowned archive, for the 75th celebrations of the University, which was unveiled in 1999. A large format art book focusing on the painting was published, elaborating on the themes, the commissioning and related works entitled:" T'kama –Adamastor : Inventions of Africa in a South African Painting" ( Ivan Vladislavic, ed.).

He has also painted two commissioned portraits of Nelson Mandela – both now in his private collection – the first of which, done during Mandela's presidential term, was used as the design for the international stamp commemorating Mandela's 90th birthday.

His formal 'sitters' include well-known academics, legal professionals, business people, bankers and politicians, such as Graça Machel, Matthews Phosa, Colin Bundy, Anton Rupert, Conrad Strauss and   George Bizos.