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Board of Governors in SA

Board of Governors appointed by the University Council to manage the Wits Foundation

Arnold Basserabie - Chairperson: Wits Foundation Board of Governors

arnold basserabie 90x90

BSc (Wits), ASA, CFP

Arnold Basserabie became CEO of Fedsure Financial Services Group in 1988, and during his tenure to 2001, grew the asset base from R2b to R40b, a growth rate of about 25% pa, and expanded the business’s reach to the United Kingdom and Australia. During the 1990s Arnold contributed to the development and growth of a number of emerging companies, in particular Thebe Investments Pty Ltd. Since the early 2000’s Arnold has been a Strategic Business Consultant and Director of Companies in a wide range of industries. He has also been on the board of the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre and Chairman of the combined Wits University and Foundation Investment Committee.

He represented the insurance industry in many capacities, including as a member of the SA Government’s Advisory Committee on Long-term Insurance and President of the SA Retirement Association.

Awards include MRF Insurance Man of the Year, Jewish Business Achiever of the Year, Institute of Marketing Man of the Year and the World Presidents Organisation’s most successful Regional Chair.

Professor Zeblon Vilakazi - Vice-Chancellor: Wits University

PhD (Wits), MASSAf, FAAS

Zeblon Vilakazi is the current Vice-Chancellor at Wits University. He is widely published (325 papers) and highly cited with an h-index of 70. Vilakazi chairs South Africa’s National Quantum Computing Working Committee which seeks to develop a Framework for Quantum Computing and Quantum Technology driven research and innovation in South Africa. He is globally recognised for his expert knowledge in physics and nuclear research. He was instrumental in establishing South Africa's first experimental high-energy physics research group at CERN focusing on the development of the High-level Trigger for the CERN-ALICE experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). He also served as a visiting scientist at the Atomic Energy Commission and Alternative Energy in Saclay, France.

Vilakazi joined Wits in January 2014 as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Postgraduate Affairs and was promoted to the position of Vice-Principal in April 2020, and then promoted to Vice Chancellor and Principal on 1 January 2021.

Cas Coovadia

Bachelor of Commerce (University College), Housing Finance Course (Wharton Real Estate Centre at the University of Pennsylvania), Effective Directors Programme (Kagiso School of Leadership).

Cas Coovadia is the CEO of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) and former Managing Director of The Banking Association SA (BASA). He is the Chairperson of the National Business Initiative. He serves on the Board of the Centre for Development & Enterprise. He is the immediate past President of the International Banking Federation (IBFed). Coovadia serves as a Council member of the University of Witwatersrand and is on the board of the Nepad Business Foundation. He also serves on the Steering Committee of the CEO Initiative and has contributed to numerous articles and publications on housing finance, civil society, local government and the role of civic organisations in governance.

Prakash Desai

BCom and BCom Honours (Accounting Science), CA (SA)

Prakash Desai served as the Wits Chief Financial Officer from January 2017 to June 2021. Desai has filled various leadership and strategic roles over a long career. He held executive positions at both local and global multinationals. Prior to joining Wits, he worked in the financial sector as Chief Executive Officer of the Afrifocus Securities (Pty) Limited group. Before that he served as Group Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Group Financial Director at Times Media, Johncom and Avusa Limited respectively, and at the unlisted international Philips Group of Companies. Philips covered the technology, retail, marketing and manufacturing sectors.

Desai has also filled non-executive posts in the public and private sectors. He served on the Board of Caxton Publishers and Printers Ltd, a public listed company, from September 2000 to April 2007 and on its audit committee from February 2006 to April 2007. From June 2003 to November 2007, he served on the Board of M-Net/SuperSport and on its audit committee from June 2003 to November 2007. He is presently non-executive Chairman of Afrifocus Securities (Pty) Ltd.

In the university sector Desai has served as a member of the Board of the University of Witwatersrand Health Consortium (Pty) Ltd since May 2003. He chairs the audit and risk committee and the strategy and investment committee. He is a member of the remuneration and transformation committee, the sustainability committee, and the directors’ affairs committee. He served as a Board member of the University of Venda Foundation from 2005 to 2009.

Neal Froneman

BSc Mech Eng. (Ind Opt) (Wits), BCompt (UNISA), Pr Eng

Neal Froneman was appointed CEO of Sibanye-Stillwater - one of the largest corporate investors in Wits - on 1 January 2013. Over the last eight years he has led the transformation of Sibanye-Stillwater from a 1.5Moz South Africa-based gold producer into a leading precious metals miner with an international operating footprint ranking among the world’s top three PGM producers. His career spans more than 31 years during which time he worked at Gold Fields Limited (Gold Fields), Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited (Harmony) and JCI Limited. In April 2003, Neal was appointed CEO of Aflease Gold Limited (Aflease Gold), which, through a series of reverse take-overs, became Gold One International Limited (Gold One) in May 2009. He was primarily responsible for the creation of Uranium One Incorporated (Uranium One) from the Aflease Gold uranium assets. During this period, he was CEO of Aflease Gold and Uranium One Incorporated until his resignation from Uranium One Incorporated in February 2008. He held the CEO position at Gold One until his appointment at Sibanye-Stillwater. In May 2016, he was elected to serve as a Vice President of the Minerals Council.


Dr Adrian Gore

Adrian Gore 90x90BSc (Hons), FFA, ASA, MAAA, FASSA, Hon. PhD (Wits)

Adrian Gore is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Discovery Holdings Ltd. - a subsidiary of FirstRand Ltd. He launched Discovery in South Africa in 1992, with a simple and core purpose of making people healthier and enhancing and protecting their lives. Discovery has since evolved into a diversified and multinational financial services group. Discovery is widely acknowledged as a global leader in wellness behavioural change and its integration with health, life, investments and short-term insurance. Discovery listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in 1997, and under Gore’s leadership, has expanded its international reach to the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, China, Europe, Japan and Asia Pacific. Discovery generates total income flows in excess of $9 billion and has over 12 000 employees globally, serving over 17 million customers world-wide.

Over his lengthy and distinguished career he been awarded numerous prestigious local and international awards recognising his significant contribution to driving growth, innovation and leadership through his personal contribution and efforts in industry and broader society. In March 2017 Gore was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate in Economics from Wits University.

In September 2021 he was appointed the Deputy Chair of Business Unity South Africa.

Dr Azar Jammine

BSc (Hons) (Mathematical Statistics), BA (Hons) in Economics (Wits), MSc in Economics (LSE), PhD (London Business School).

Dr Azar Jammine is Director and Chief Economist of Econometrix (Pty) Ltd, South Africa's leading independent economic research consultancy and forecasting company, established in 1982.  He has been in his current position since December 1985 and has established a significant profile in South Africa as an analyst and commentator on domestic and international economic affairs. Dr Jammine has conducted more than 5 000 presentations to leading client corporations and other institutions as well as at conferences dealing with the local and international economic environment.  In this capacity he has also been invited over the years by several corporations to serve as independent non-executive director. Dr Jammine recently retired as a member of the National Advisory Council on Innovation, a body of experts appointed by the Department of Science and Technology but still assists NACI on an ad-hoc basis as an expert on various tasks.

Professor Jonathan Klaaren

BA (Harvard) MA (Cape Town) JD (Columbia) LLB (Wits), PhD (Yale, Sociology)

Jonathan Klaaren is a Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, serving in the Law School at the Faculty of Commerce, Law & Management and in the Faculty of Humanities with the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WiSER). He works in the areas of competition & regulation, access to justice, law & migration, and socio-legal studies. His most recent book is From Prohibited Immigrants to Citizens: The Origins of Citizenship and Nationality in South Africa (2017). His current research interests are in the African legal profession (including access to justice), competition law and economic regulation, and the organization of public interest litigation in South Africa. He has served on a number of editorial committees and boards including those of the South African Journal on Human Rights, Law & Society Review, and Law & Policy. He holds a Phd in sociology from Yale University and law degrees from Columbia (JD) and Wits (LLB). He served as Head/Dean of the Wits Law School from 2010 to 2013 and as Director of the School’s Mandela Institute from 2005 to 2007. In 2016, he was appointed and served as an Acting Judge on the High Court of South Africa (South Gauteng).

Dr Mark Lamberti

BCom, MBA (Wits), PPL (Harvard), CD(SA), PhD(UP)

In 2018 Mark Lamberti (70) transitioned from a 33 year executive career as CEO of various private and public companies to pursue non-executive directorship, consulting and mentoring assignments, while guiding his family office as Chairman of Lamberti Holdings.

His career focus has been the turnaround, entrepreneurial development and growth of multinational public companies headquartered in South Africa, notably as CEO and later non-executive Chairman of Massmart Holdings Limited (1998 to 2014) and Transaction Capital Limited (2008 to 2014), and as CEO of Imperial Holdings Limited (2014 to 2018).

Concurrently, Lamberti served as a non-executive director of various public companies and industry bodies. His commitment to the education of underprivileged Africans is manifest as a shareholder, director, benefactor and advisor of educational institutions.

Mamongae Mahlare

BSc. Chemical Engineering (Wits), MBA (Harvard Business School)

Mamongae Mahlare was appointed as the Chief Executive of Takealot effective 1 October 2021. Before joining Takealot she held a number of strategic positions such as Managing Director at Illovo Sugar, Channel Development Manager at Coca Cola; Marketing Director at SABMiller; Consultant at Bain & Company and Process Engineer at UNILEVER. Mahlare was also on the board of RMB Holdings Ltd. and Rand Merchant Investment Holdings Ltd.

Sulliman Mahomed

Mr Sulliman Mahomed 90x90Sulliman Mahomed (Solly Noor) serves as the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Solly's Group of Companies comprising of: Solly's Discount World Group, Solly Noor Properties Group and Computron Group as well as other companies in Solly's Group ranging from consumer and Hi-Tech electronics to Real Estate. Mahomed brings to the Fund a wealth of experience in the real estate sector derived from over 35 years of involvement in the investment and development of commercial property. He has been a Non-Executive Director of Investec Property Fund Ltd since 2012.

Professor Thokozani Majozi

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Process Integration (University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology)

Thokozani Majozi is a full professor in the School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand where he also holds the National Research Foundation/Department of Science and Technology (NRF/DST) Chair in Sustainable Process Engineering. His main research interest is batch chemical process integration, where he has made significant scientific contributions that have earned him international recognition.

He is a member of the Academy of Sciences of South Africa and a Fellow at the African Academy of Sciences. He has received numerous prestigious local and international awards for his research. Prof. Majozi is author and co-author of more than 190 scientific publications, including three books on Batch Chemical Process Integration, published by Springer and CRC Press. He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Cleaner Production and Chemical Engineering Transactions, deputy editor-in-chief of the South African Journal of Chemical Engineering and is a regular reviewer for leading chemical engineering journals.

He has also served as Vice-President of the Engineering Council of South Africa (2009-2012), member of the Nuclear Energy Corporation Board, where he also chaired the Research Committee and is currently the Chairperson of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Board, which is the largest public sector multidisciplinary research institution on the continent. In 2019 he was awarded the Order of Mapungubwe in Bronze for “his outstanding contribution to science, particularly the development of a novel mathematical technique for near-zero-effluent batch chemical facilities which enables the reuse of wastewater”.

Maureen Manyama

BCom. Accounting (UCT) B. Compt Honours+ CTA, Accounting (UNISA) (CA.SA) BCom. Hons, Taxation (UP), PgD Intergrated Reporting (UP), MBA. Business Administration and Management, General (GIBS).

Maureen was appointed as the Chief Financial Officer at the University of Witwatersrand effective from 1 March 2022. She has a combined experience of over a decade and half working as an executive and/or non- executive director for strategic organizations such as CFO: Agricultural Research Council, CFO: Hollard Insure Business Unit, CFO: Airport Company of South Africa, CFO: South African Forestry Company Limited and Executive: Finance and Support, SA Post Office (Post Bank Division).

Bonang Mohale

Diploma, Postgraduate Diploma and Chartered Marketer (IMM), Basics of Pharmacology (Wits Medical School)

Bonang Mohale was appointed as the Chair of Business Unity South Africa in September 2021. He is also a Professor of Practice at the Johannesburg Business School’s College of Business and Economics, and Chairman of the Bidvest Group Limited. Mohale is a published author and respected business leader who has held chairmanships and directorships at some of South Africa’s top companies. He currently serves on the boards of Swiss Re Africa Limited, Rand Merchant Bank Limited (RMB), the Automobile Association of South Africa, and SBV. Mohale was the former Chief Executive Officer of Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA). In 2001, he received the President’s Award for his servanthood in South African industry, and in 2019 the Free-Market Foundation’s Luminary Award. Prior to joining BLSA, he was the Chairman of Shell Downstream South Africa (Pty) Limited, and Vice President of Shell Upstream. 

Lebogang Montjane

BA (Connecticut College) MA (Columbia) LLB (Witwatersrand)

Lebogang Montjane is the Executive Director of the Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa (ISASA), the oldest, largest and most representative independent schools’ association in the region. He is a Visiting Lecturer for a Journalism course at Wits and has also been a researcher and lecturer at the Wits School of Education. Lebogang is a former attorney who clerked for Chief Justice Pius Langa. He has also served as a Commissioner on the Confidentiality Commission for the United Nations Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Lebogang is a former Director of Business Leadership South Africa.

Lesiba Mothata


Lesiba Mothata is Chief Executive Officer at Benguela Global Fund Managers. Lesiba has grafted a diversified career path with an eclectic portfolio of skills honed in. Having emerged out of a strong micro- and macro-economic base, the evolution into investments, general management and customer experience has produced a well-rounded financial services professional.

Lesiba is widely published and has been in the financial services industry for nearly two decades. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree from the University of the Witwatersrand and a Master of Commerce in Financial Economics from the University of Johannesburg and has completed a general management programme at Harvard Business School.

Mduduzi Ndlovu

BCom. Accounting (Wits), MPhil Applied Ethics (Stellenbosch University), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA Institute)

Mduduzi Ndlovu was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Ashburton Investments in March 2022, the asset management business of First National Bank. Before joining Ashburton Investment, he held several strategic positions such as Deal Principal at Crede Capital Partners, Portfolio Manager at Blue Alpha Investment Management, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Biblica Verbum Investment Co. and Argon Asset Management and Acting Chief Executive Officer at Real Africa Asset Management. He is also an independent trustee at the Independent Schools Association of Southern Pension Fund and an independent Non-Executive Director at Brimstone Investment Corporation.

Dr Stavros Nicolaou

B.Pharm (Wits), MPS (SA), FPS (SA) Hon. PhD Medicine (Wits)

Dr Stavros Nicolaou is a member of Aspen Pharmacare’s Group Executive team and its senior executive responsible for Strategic Trade Development. Nicolaou has over 30 years’ experience in the South African and International pharmaceutical industry working across a number of geographies and therapeutic areas. He was instrumental in introducing the first generic ARV’s on the African Continent developed by Aspen, which has gone on to save hundreds of thousands of lives in South Africa and on the African Continent.

He has been the recipient of a number of awards including the Monte Rubenstein Award for proficiency in pharmaceutics at an undergraduate level from the Wits University Pharmacy School, the SA Institute of Marketing Management (IMM) Health Marketer of the Year Award, induction as a fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of South Africa (PSSA) and the Order of the Lion of St Mark by the Greek Orthodox Pope and Patriarch, Theodoros II for his work in HIV. He was recently awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science in Medicine from Wits University.

Nicolaou has preciously and presently continues to serve on a number of busines, industry and public entities all aimed at advancing South Africa’s socio economic, business and national investment objectives. He has been a speaker at a number of conferences including the Economist Roundtable, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and delivered a lecture on ARV developments at the Raigon Institute, a JV between Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Maria Ramos

Bachelor of Commerce in Economics (Wits), MSc in Economics (London), Honorary doctorates from the Stellenbosch University (SU) and University of the Free State (UFS)

In 1996, Maria Ramos was appointed as Director-General of South Africa's National Treasury. She went on to become the Chief Executive of state-owned transportation company Transnet between 2004 and 2009, and in 2009 she was appointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Absa Group Limited. She has served on the boards of Sanlam Ltd, Remgro Ltd and SABMiller. She is the current Chairperson of AngloGold Ashanti and serves on the Executive Committee of the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council, the Board of Business Unity South Africa and the Global Board of Advisers, Council on Foreign Relations (U.S.)

She was named CNBC Africa Woman Leader of the Year (2011). She was also awarded the Wits Business School’s Management Excellence Award (2010); Sunday Times Business Times Business Leader of the Year (2005), as well as being named Businesswoman of the Year by the SA Businesswomen’s Association in 2001. In October 2010, Ramos was Honored with the Manex award at the Wits Business School’s Management Excellence Awards Ceremony.

Tokyo Sexwale

*Information currently being updated.

Professor Bruce Sparks


Bruce Sparks is the former Kenneth Birch Professor of Family Health, Head of Department of Family Medicine at the Wits Medical School and Chief Family Physician in the Gauteng Department of Health. He is also the former World President of the World Organisation of Family Doctors.

Advocate Anthony Stein

Anthony Stein 90x90BA(Hons) LLB(Wits) BCL(Oxon)

Advocate Anthony Stein is an advocate of the High Court of South Africa, and member of the Johannesburg Bar. He was a Visiting Lecturer at King’s College and University of London between 2000 and 2001 (Law of contract, administrative law, and philosophy of law). He was also a lecturer at University of the Witwatersrand between 1997 and 1998 in various subjects, including constitutional law, administrative law, jurisprudence, law of contract. He was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship, Skye Trust Scholarship and Society of Advocates Moot Prize. Abridged Publications include Constitutional Law of South Africa (Juta), Co-editor and author, Interpreting European Convention Rights (Butterworths London, 2001), Co-author with Tomlinson and Shukla.

Fatima Vawda

MSc in Applied Mathematics (Wits)

Fatima Vawda is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of financial services group 27four. Since establishing 27four in South Africa in 2007 with the aim of doing things differently, 27four has evolved into a diversified financial services group specialising in asset management, fiduciary management, stock broking and regulatory fund hosting in both domestic and global capital markets across public and private markets.

Fatima is passionate about responsible investment and was instrumental in listing Agrarius, Africa’s first sustainability linked Sukuk, a R10 billion note programme on the debt market of the JSE's Sustainability Segment in 2022. Fatima has played a pivotal role in transforming the domestic asset management industry through the establishment of an asset management incubator program. This program aims to seed Black and women-owned and managed fund managers and has allocated over R50 billion to more than 50 asset managers since its inception in 2007, making a substantial contribution to enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the sector.

The group also manages a number of blended finance partnerships in the private equity and venture capital space investing in innovative businesses and driving economic growth and job creation. Currently, Fatima's primary focus is on expanding internationally while simultaneously supporting investments in domestic infrastructure and fostering mechanisms to deepen South Africa's capital markets.

Fatima is a lifelong learner and an uncomfortable entrepreneur constantly seeking ways to disrupt and innovate, exploring new ideas and taking risks. Prior to entering the corporate world, she spent two years lecturing in the Department of Computational and Applied Mathematics at Wits University.

Additionally, Fatima has won numerous domestic and international accolades and serves as a Director of the Association of Savings and Investments South Africa.