The Board

  1. Professor Walter Claassen – Non Executive Member - Board Chairperson

    Specialist Skills: Prof Claassen has extensive experience in academia management, leadership and research.  He has been actively involved in restructuring and innovation in the higher education environment.  His expertise include the current rethinking of universities regarding alignment, with the digital era and the digital economy, ICT,digital skills development, and human capacity development in the digital economy.

    Highlighted experience and positions: He has been Director of Research at Stellenbosch University and Vice-Rector (Academia) and Vice-Rector (Research).  The Vice-Rector also acted as Chairperson of the respective Senate committees.  This work involved developing the institution into one of the foremost research-intensive universities in South Africa.  He was also the Senior Advisor: Research in the Department of Information Systems, University of the Western Cape (UWC). He has a long history with the e-Skills Institute, including as a Senior Researcher and Management Committee Member in teh Research Network for e-Skills (ResNes).  He was a Trustee of the Desmond Tutu Educational Trust and Founding Member of the Academy for Science in South Africa.

    Other current Positions: Prof Claassen is Senior Lecturer in the UWC Department of Information Systems, and a Senior Researcher in the Western Cape e-Skills CoLab: e-Inclusion and Social Innovation.

  2. Mr Thami ka Plaatjie – Non Executive Member - Deputy Chairperson

    Specialist skills: Mr Ka Plaatjie has worked extensively in the education sector.  He is a specialist in historical research with reference to South African resistance politics, as well as heritage studies and political conflict models.  Further experience includes current African political analysis and commentary, strategy development and community development.

    Highlighted experience and positions: He was Campus Registrar: Academia and Administration at Vista University, as well as serving on the History Curriculum and Examining Committee.  He held the position of Director: Policy and Strategy at the National Development Agency. He served in the Dinokeng National Scenario Planning team and in the Cycle Discussion Group. He has held the position of Secretary General of the PAC and President of PAM.

    Other current positions: Mr Ka Plaatjie is the Director of the Pan African Foundation, a research and community development NGO.  He currently serves on the AGRISETA Board.  He is co-owner of the Messenger Community Newspaper and owner of Spy 2 Publishers.

  3. Ms Mymoena Ismail – Chief Executive Officer
  4. Ms Rahimoonisha Abdool – Chief Financial Officer
  5. Professor Manoj Maharaj – Non Executive Member - Chairperson of the Finance Committee

    Specialist skills: Prof Maharaj is an academic of more than 27 years.  He has extensive experience in the management  and leadership of higher education and training institutions.  This includes legislation policies and procedures related to state-owned-enterprises (SOEs).  He has deep knowledge of the ICT sector and has researched and published extensively in this domain.  He has also contributed significantly to academic capacity development.

    Highlighted experience and positions: He has been in various management and strategic positions at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN).  This includes serving on the UKZN Senate. He was Chairman of the Board of Trustees fo the University of Durban-Westville Pension and Provident Fund.  Previous experience included consulting tot the Botswana Qualification Authority around developing the Botswana National Qualifications Framework.

    Other current positions: Prof Maharaj is currently Executive Director: Information Systems and Head of School: Information Systems at UKZN.  He also serves ont he Board of the Moses Kotane Institute, an SOE in KZN taht aims to advance STEM and leadership skills.

  6. Ms Sarienne Kersh – Non Executive Member - Chairperson of the Social & Ethics Committee

    Specialist skills: Ms Kersh is a Qualified Assessor and Facilitator (Level 5 - Outstanding Achievement) for MICT SETA for various Film and TV qualifications and screenwriting qualifications.  She has extensive experience in film, television, video and animation.  This is on numerous levels from producing and scriptwriting to training and development of learning material and curricula.

    Highlighted experience and positions: While at Digital Arts, she was the Festiva Director of the first International Animation Festival in South Africa with 13 countries participating.  She has a history with NEMISA as a Senior Lecturer and as Acting Head of the TV Department and Internal Moderator for the Animation Department.

    Other current positions: She is currently Subject Expert, Curriculum Designer and Co-Writer of Level 4 Film and TV learning materials for the M-NET Supersport in-house learnership programme.  Ms Kersh works for the SABC, writing and developing scripts.  She is also a member of the Advisory Panel for the National Film and Video Foundation.  She teaches and produces learning material for the Academy of Sound Engineering : Screen Arts, and a member of the Academic Board.

  7. Mr Lucas Mello – Non Executive Member - Chairperson of the HR and Remuneration Committee

    Specialist Skills : Mr Mello has extensive experience in the education field.  This ranges from teaching to high-level educational strategy and management.  Further expertise includes high level dispute resolution, high level negotiation, statute interpretation and an understanding of a vast range of legislation.

    Highlighted experience and positions: He worked for the Mpumalanga Department of Education, assisting with the transition and integration after the 1994 democratic elections.  He was appointed Regional Director (Nkangala) at the Mpumalanga Department of Education.  He also held the position of ANC Mpumalanga Provincial Secretary.

    Other current positions: Mr Mello is an Executive Director at Bawasha Project Management and an Executive Director at 1 Chain Fixed Asset Management

  8. Ms Nelisiwe "Ncedi" Mkhaliphi – Non Executive Member

    Specialist skills: Ms Mkhaliphi has extensive experience in the Human Resource (HR) environment.  These range from HR management and organisation development to training and developmetn and change management.  She has further specialised in community facilitation and development.

    Highlighted experience and positions: She has previously worked for Umsobomvu Youth Fund as Director: Human Resource Management.  Ms Mkhaliphi also worked for the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) in numerous positions, including Director: Human Resource Managemetn, Senior Manager: Corporate Services, Senior Manager: Learning and Development and as Acting Executive Manager.

    Other current positions: She is currently a Trustee and Associate for Siyakhula Trust

  9. Mr Phuthi Phukubje – Non Executive Member - Chairperson of the Audit & Risk Committee

    Specialist skills: Mr Phukubje is an approved Accounting Officer and Business Accountant (SAIBR 151) as registered by the South African Institute of Business Accountants.  He has extensive technical knowledge in auditing, financial management, accounting and taxation.

    Highlighted experience and positions: He worked in numerous positions for the Auditor General South Africa, culminating in the position of Senior Manager (Partner).  He also has international auditing experience with the United Nations Fund for International Partnership.

    Other current positions: Mr Phukubje is currently Executive Head: Internal Audit, Compliance and Investigation at Sentech, and Audit and Risk Committee Member for the Police Civilian Secretariat.


  10. Ms Alina Mfulo – Non Executive Member - Chairperson of the Programme & Academic Committee

    Specialist skills: Ms Mfulo is a young woman with a disability and has been involved in representing disabled people both in South Africa and Internationally.  Her governmetn and civil society experience is evidence of her experience with hgh-level management, monitoring and evaluation and leadership.

    Highlighted experience and positions: She was a member the 4th Parliament on the Select Committee on Appropriation, Select Committee on Auditor General and the Porfolio Committee on Monitoring and Evaluation.  She was also a Municipal Councillor fo the Sol Plaatje Municipality.  She has been Provincial Treasurer for Cosatu and Provincial Chairperson for the South African Women Entreprenuer Network.  She was previously a Board Member for the Northern Cape Development Trust.

    Other current positions: Ms Mfulo is currently the Deputy Secretary General for Disabled People South Africa.  She is also Project Manager for the Nyandza Disabled Women Movement.  She also represents the disability sector at NEDLAC.

  11. Ms Mapula Thebethe – Company Secretary