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About Us

​who we are and what we do


Joel Netshitenzhe

Executive Director

Prof Susan Booysen

Director: Research

Barry Gilder

Director: Operations

Xolelwa Kashe-Katiya

Director: Project Management

Lorraine Pillay

Financial Manager

Gloria Britain

Company Secretary

Dr. Salimah Valiani

Senior Researcher: Faculty of Political Economy

Zamanzima Mazibuko

Senior Researcher: Faculty of Knowledge Economy and Scientific Advancement

Dan Motaung

Senior Researcher: Faculty of Humanity

Dr. Beth Vale

Researcher: Humanity

Khwezilomso Mabasa

Researcher: Faculty of Political Economy

Duduetsang Mokoele

Researcher: Faculty of Knowledge Economy and Scientific Advancement

Themba Moleketi

Junior Researcher: Humanity

Anelile Gibixego

Assistant Researcher: Faculty of Knowledge Economy and Scientific Advancement

Wandile Ngcaweni

Junior Researcher: Faculty of Political Economy

Dzunisani Mathonsi

Project Officer

Towela Ng'ambi

Consultancy Services Officer

Noma Moyo

Information Technology Manager

Magati Nindi

Resource Mobilisation Officer

Terry Shakinovsky

Publications Coordinator

Siphokazi Sigenu

Communications Officer

Thabang Moerane


Lindiwe Malaza


Njabulo Zwane

Intern: Research

Nqobile Mangena

Intern: Research

Rose Maleke Ngwato

Office Assistant

Executive Director-Joel Netshitenzhe


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Joel Netshitenzhe has a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Financial Economics and a post-graduate diploma in Economic Principles from the University of London, and a diploma in Political Science from the Institute of Social Sciences in Moscow.  

He is a Member of the Boards of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Nedbank Group and Life Healthcare Group; and a Champion within Programme Pioneer of the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Life College Association. He is a member of the ANC National Executive Committee, and also served as a member of the National Planning Commission (2010 – 2015).   

Before joining the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) as CEO in 1998, Mr Netshitenzhe was Head of Communication in President Nelson Mandela’s office. In addition to being GCIS CEO, he was appointed Head of the Policy Co-ordination and Advisory Services (PCAS) in The Presidency, in 2001. He headed the PCAS on a full-time basis from 2006 until his retirement in 2009. 

Before 1994, he served in various capacities within the ANC: Radio Freedom, Mayibuye editor, member of the ANC Politico-Military Council and Deputy Head of the Department of Information and Publicity, and as part of the ANC negotiating team.

Director: Research -Prof Susan Booysen


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Professor Susan Booysen is a Visiting Professor at the Wits School of Governance in University of the Witwatersrand.

Booysen is the author of research-intensive books on the African National Congress of South Africa and editor of several other books on South and Southern African politics. Her two major books on the ANC, to date, are The African National Congress and the Regeneration of Political Power (2011) and Dominance and Decline: The ANC in the Time of Zuma (2015), both published by Wits University Press. Her 2012 e-book, The ANC’s Battle of Mangaung, focused on a particular turning point in the ANC trajectory. Her two main edited books are FeesMustFall: Student Revolt, Decolonisation and Governance in South Africa (2016) and Local Elections in South Africa: People, Parties, Politics (2012). She also co-edited Democracy and Elections in Southern Africa (2009) with Denis Kadima.

Booysen is a political analyst and media commentator, both in the print and electronic media. She currently contributes regular columns to Daily Maverick.

She holds a D.Litt. et Phil. from the University of Johannesburg (1988). Her areas of specialisation are South African and Southern African politics, policy, governance, elections, comparative politics of Southern Africa, political sociology and research methodology. Her research fellowships include a post-doctoral fellowship at the Southern African Research Program (SARP) at Yale University, USA. She is past president of the South African Association of Political Studies (SAAPS) and is on the editorial board of the South African Journal of Political Studies, Politikon.

She has published around 40 refereed academic articles (both in national and international journals), 25 chapters in books, and multiple monographs. She has concluded close to 50 full-scale consultancy and academic research projects, and presents her findings regularly at national and international conferences in African Studies, Political Studies, Policy Studies, as well as to other specialised audiences.
Booysen’s academic career has included full professorships at Nelson Mandela University (1998-2005) and Wits University (2005-2018). Wits University has also awarded her the title of Professor Emeritus.


Director: Operations-Barry Gilder


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From 1990 to 1992, Barry Gilder was Administrative Editor of Africa Information Afrique, a development news agency, first in Zimbabwe and then in South Africa after his return from exile in 1991. He then served as Head Communications and later Deputy Director of the Matla Trust until he was deployed into the new democratic government at the beginning of 1995. He served as General Manager and later Deputy Director-General of the South African Secret Service from 1995 until 1999 and then as Deputy Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency from 2000 to 2003.


In 2003 he was appointed Director-General of the Department of Home Affairs and in 2005 was appointed Coordinator for Intelligence until his retirement from government in 2007.


In 2010 he helped to set up the Mapungubwe Institute and served as its Director Operations until early 2013 when he left to spend a year and a half in New Delhi, India. He continued as a Fellow of the Mapungubwe Institute.


In September 2013 he was appointed as a Senior Visiting Fellow in the University of the Witwatersrand’s Graduate School of Public and Development Management (now known as the Wits School of Governance) and in October was appointed to the Council of South Africa’s new National School of Government. He took up his new post in MISTRA on 1 October 2014.

He is the author of Songs and Secrets: South Africa from Liberation to Governance (Jacana 2012, Hurst 2012).


Director: Project Management-Xolelwa Kashe-Katiya


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Xolelwa Kashe-Katiya studied towards a BSc degree at the University of Cape Town where she majored in Archaeology. After graduating, she went on to complete an Honours degree in Physical Anthropology, at the University of Pretoria. In 2010 she was awarded a fellowship by the Archives and Public Culture Research Initiative to complete a Master of Philosophy degree in Heritage and Public Culture at the University o​f Cape Town’s Centre for African Studies.


She has in the past worked as a researcher and project manager in donor-funded, public and academic environments. Her past duties included quality assurance, monitoring and evaluation of complex projects, specifically in the media, cultural and creative industries.  She has also assisted in providing intellectual, political, and professional direction to projects that serve as a platform for the arts, archives and heritage practitioners. She is passionate about critical engagements with knowledge production and the dissemination of knowledge within African contexts. 


Xolelwa is also a correspondent at the Archival Platform and has recently been appointed as an Honorary Research Associate by the University of Cape Town.

Xolelwa has also worked as MISTRA's Head of Consultancy Services. In December 2016, she was promoted to Director: Project Management.


Financial Manager -Lorraine Pillay


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Lorraine Pillay joined the Mapungubwe Institute as a Financial Manager in February 2014. Prior to joining MISTRA, she worked at MOSCON OPTICS (PTY) Ltd where she started as Junior Credit Control in 1992 and progressed to be a Financial Manager. In this role, she also drove the financial functions for other companies within the MOSCON group such as Moscon Medical and Moscon Properties.

After completing her Bcom in Accounting at the University of South Africa, Lorraine continued to further her studies at the Chartered Institute of Management Accounts where she completed her T4 – Part B. CIMA is recognized as the world’s largest body of management accountants.

Lorraine’s interest is in art and reading and travelling.     


Company Secretary-Gloria Britain


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Gloria Britain is a seasoned Public Sector Management specialist who has worked in the public and private sectors on various transformation and development programmes and projects over several years.

She has held various full time positions as well as set up a consultancy which provided organisational & management development services to diverse non-profit organizations, companies and institutions including Nedbank, South African Broadcasting Corporation, various local government departments, the National Prosecutions Authority, National Departments of Education, Health and Social Development, UNICEF and UNAIDS. Gloria, through her consultancy also provided facilitation services such as strategic planning and training on various non-profit board matters and other areas of organisational development.

Gloria consulted in the donor funding environment, conducting organisational evaluations for local and international funders both nationally and in the Southern African region. She also worked in grant making for civil society organisations. She has worked in resource mobilisation in the areas of: advanced proposal writing, funding raising from High Networth Individuals, conducting funding audits and fund raising planning.

Gloria worked in the Human Capital Development space both in the public and private sectors, with the focus on strategic learning and growth.

Gloria has a BA Social Science Degree from the University of Cape Town, an adult education qualification from the University of British Colombia, a Coaching qualification from Results Systems Coaching in the neuroscience coaching methodology and is a member of the Coaching & Mentoring Association of South Africa, (COMESA).


Senior Researcher: Faculty of Political Economy-Dr. Salimah Valiani


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Dr. Salimah Valiani, PhD is Senior Researcher in MISTRA’s faculty of political economy.  She holds a visiting professorship with the Centre for Researching Education and Labour at the University of Witwatersrand. With an academic background in world historical political economy. Her research specialisations are in the areas of economic development in historical perspective, international labour migration, the political economy of health care, and the global caring economy. Since 2001, she has worked as a researcher in non-governmental organisations and unions in Canada, Indonesia, the Philippines, India, and South Africa. 

She is the author of the research monograph, Rethinking Unequal Exchange: the global integration of nursing labour markets (University of Toronto Press: 2012); a range of policy papers and academic journal articles, and several popular articles on economic policy and economic justice. In June 2012 she was awarded the Feminist Economics Rhonda Williams Prize – an award recognising feminist scholarship and activism in the spirit of the African American economist and activist, Rhonda Williams.  



Research Monograph: Rethinking Unequal Exchange - The Global Integration of Nursing Labour Markets

Poetry: Land of the Sky

Poetry: Letter Out: Letter In

Poetry: Breathing for Breadth



Senior Researcher: Faculty of Knowledge Economy and Scientific Advancement-Zamanzima Mazibuko


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Zamanzima Mazibuko is a WITS University Alumni. She holds a BSc degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology and a BSc Honours in Pharmacology. She obtained her MSc (Med) in Pharmaceutics cum laude and published the following review article in an international journal:

Zamanzima Mazibuko, Yahya E. Choonara, Lisa C. Dutoit, Girish Modi, Dinesh Naidoo, Viness Pillay. A Review of the Potential Role of nano-enabled Drug Delivery Technologies in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Lessons Learned from Other Neurodegenerative Disorders. J. Pharm Sci, 104: 1213-1229. 

She has a patent filed with WITS Enterprise for a nano-enabled drug delivery system designed and formulated for her Master's Degree. Zamanzima was awarded a Carnegie Bale Scholarship for black women in Science and Engineering between 2007- and 2011. In 2013, she was awarded a Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD) bursary to complete her Master's degree. She has been a member of the Golden Key International Society since 2008.

Zamanzima joined MISTRA as a Researcher in the Faculty of Knowledge Economy and Scientific Advancement (KESA). Previously, she was a Project Research Assistant at the Student Equity and Talent Management Unit (SETMU) at the University of the Witwatersrand. She is passionate about social justice and more specifically, gender equality. She plans to pursue a PhD degree in the near future.

Senior Researcher: Faculty of Humanity-Dan Motaung


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Dan Motaung worked for government in speechwriting capacity for fifteen years, first with former President Thabo Mbeki (six years), then President Kgalema Motlanthe (one year); Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe (five years); and former President Kgalema Motlanthe (three years).

His areas of interest include world history; African history; classical philosophy and African philosophy as well as political economy.


He has been attracted to MISTRA by its scholarly orientation and the approach of transdisciplinarity as a mode of academic inquiry. 


Researcher: Humanity-Dr. Beth Vale


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Dr. Beth Vale's research interests span youth body politics, nocturnal cities, HIV interventions, and quotidian productions of sociality as well as power and privilege in South African society. Before joining MISTRA, Beth served as a postdoctoral fellow under the NRF Chair in Local Histories, Present Realities at the University of the Witwatersrand.  Her postdoctoral research explores urban nightclub cultures in Southern Africa, which she also discusses in regular postings for Bubblegumclub’s online magazine, as well as other print and online publications.  

Beth has a DPhil from the University of Oxford. Her doctoral thesis investigated the medication-taking practices of HIV-positive adolescents in the Eastern Cape. Here, she took interests in the ways that adolescents used and interpreted HIV-treatment, incorporating pills into their everyday pursuits of recognition and belonging. Articles deriving from this work have been published in the Journal of Southern African Studies, Development and Change, Medical Anthropology Quarterly and Medical Anthropology. 

Prior to her time at Oxford, Beth studied for an MA in Sociology at the University of Cape Town, over the course of which she investigated the challenges and successes of community health providers. Her BA Honours degree in Politics and Philosophy is from Rhodes University, where she also served as the university's HIV Advocacy Officer and President of the Student HIV/AIDS Resistance Campaign. Over the years, Beth has worked as a pro bono intern/consultant for a range of advocacy organisations including Anthrologica, Paediatric AIDS Treatment for Africa, The Treatment Action Campaign and Kheth'Impilo seeking to bridge the worlds of research, policy and practice. 

Researcher: Faculty of Political Economy-Khwezilomso Mabasa


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Khwezi Mabasa is a part-time lecturer in Political Sciences at the University of Pretoria and former Programme Manager at the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FESSouth Africa.

He has a Political Science background and obtained his MA in Political Science from the University of Pretoria in 2014. He is currently working on a PhD in Development Sociology at the University of Witwatersrand focusing on a gendered analysis of the agrarian question in South Africa. 

He has published a wide range of academic articles in journals including chapters in books.

Researcher: Faculty of Knowledge Economy and Scientific Advancement-Duduetsang Mokoele


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Duduetsang Mokoele was promoted to Research after serving as an Assistant Researcher in
the Faculty of Knowledge Economy and Scientific Advancement (KESA). She has an academic background in International Relations, Political Studies and Public Policy and Administration. 

In 2010 she was inducted into the Golden Key International Honour Society. In 2011 she was the recipient of the postgraduate Merit Award and the Chief Justice Ismail Mohamed medal. In the same
year she was a tutor at the University of the Witwatersand’s International Relations Department. 

Before joining MISTRA she was an intern at the Department of Science and Technology’s International Resources Programme.

In future she hopes to study for a Masters Degree in International Security with a regional concentration on Africa and East Asian countries and thematic concentrations on Defence/Security Economics and Innovation and sustainable development. She aspires to playing a role in policy making in South Africa.

Junior Researcher: Humanity-Themba Moleketi


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Themba Moleketi completed his Masters’ thesis on ‘The Basic Income Grant: A Rights-Based Definition to Social Welfare that is long overdue’ from the New School for Social Research. In addition to pursuing his Masters in politics, he was an active participant in student affairs and sat on the New School’s Disciplinary Review Panel.

He also holds a second-class BA Honours degree in Politic Studies and a BA degree with majors in international Relations and Media Studies from the University of the Witwatersrand.

He has previously worked as an intern at Deloitte’s Public sector department, whereby he was brought in to assist on the Operation Phakisa ‘Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development’ project. Prior to this Themba was a teaching assistant in the Politics Department at the university of the Witwatersrand where he tutored the classes Introduction to Politics and Feminist studies. During his undergraduate studies he also interned in the communications and research department of the African Centre for Migration and Society.

Themba is extremely passionate about the pursuit and achievement of a more equitable society.​ 

Assistant Researcher: Faculty of Knowledge Economy and Scientific Advancement-Anelile Gibixego


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Anelile Gibixego has an Honours degree in Environmental Management from the North-West University. She completed her Bachelor of Science in microbiology and cellular biology in 2011 from the University of Kwa Zulu Natal. She worked as a Laboratory Assistant, Hygiene Auditor and Environmental Microbiologist in 2012. She then worked as an Environmental Educator and assistant in the Ecological and Restoration department at Wildlands Conservation Trust in 2013. She began her journey as an Aquatic Ecologist at Groundtruth Water ®, Wetlands and Environmental Engineering® where she made great strides in the development of miniSASS and river health. Also managing the database of the Google Earth map based interface miniSASS website, development of citizen science tools for monitoring ecosystem health. She most recently worked at JG AFRIKA (Pty) Ltd, previously trading as Jeffares® and Green (Pty) Ltd as an Aquatic Scientist.

She has been responsible for water resource management related research, river health and forms part of projects within the Water Research Commission. Her strong leadership and communication skills fuel her passion for public speaking and writing and working for the water sector. 

She has been a member of the Young Water Professionals (Water Institute of Southern Africa) since 2014 and hopes to influence other young professionals and students in the water sector.

Junior Researcher: Faculty of Political Economy-Wandile Ngcaweni


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Wandile Ngcaweni has a BA (Development Studies) degree with a major in Historical Studies from the University of Johannesburg. During his undergraduate studies he volunteered as an intern at MISTRA. It is during this time, Wandile found his calling in academic research.  

Wandile attended the Decolonial Summer School at the University of South Africa. He is also an Alumni of the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute (TMALI) where he completed a course in African Political  Economy-The Africa Economic Challenge. 

He is currently completing another course from TMALI in Policy Making and Analysis for Africa’s Development. 

Wandile is currently doing his BA Hons (Development Studies) at UNISA. He enjoys writing commentary and opinion columns in various publications , focus being what’s relevant to the youth, such as decolonisation and Fallism and social development.  

Project Officer-Dzunisani Mathonsi


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Dzunisani Mathonsi holds a Bachelor of Arts in social science from the University Of Limpopo where her majors were Psychology and Criminology and an Honours in Psychology from the University of South Africa. 

She has worked herself up MISTRA's ranks as she joined the Institute as an intern and was later promoted to Consultancy Services Officer thereafter was promoted to Project Manager.

She envisions herself as Social Scientist who is very much interested in society’s development and growth. She also strives to learn how individuals and groups make decisions and gain insight into their different behaviour patterns.

Dzunisani interests lie in acquiring skills and perspectives to solve complex social problems, to engage in communication and collaboration across the social science discipline, and to utilize a shared infrastructure for social science. During 2013-2014 April Dzunisani participated in volunteer work as a care worker and a team leader at an NGO called future families.

Consultancy Services Officer-Towela Ng'ambi


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Towela Ng'ambi is currently completing a Masters in Development Studies at the University of Johannesburg. She has Honours degrees in Psychology and Development Studies, and a BA in Arts.

Towela has been in the role of student assistant at the University of Western Cape. She has also worked at the Olive Leaf Foundation and UNICEF, in administration, project management, stakeholder engagements, data capturing and management of data bases and public relations respectively.


Information Technology Manager -Noma Moyo


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Noma Moyo joined MISTRA as the Information Technology manager in July 2017. Noma's goals for MISTRA are to contribute to the advancement of research through knowledge transfer and creating an understanding of Information Technology Services Management (ITSM) thereby adding value to the Institute. "As an Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) expert, I believe ITSM gives organisations a strong  advantage in harnessing technologies," says Noma. 

Noma graduated in 2015 with a Master of Philosophy degree in Information and Knowledge Systems from Stellenbosch University  She is also an experienced information scientist with an MSC and a BSC honours in Library and Information Science from the National University of Science and Technology (Zimbabwe), She is an ITIL Expert certified by AXELOS.

Her experience includes working as a Records and information Officer at Johannesburg Housing Company, where she was also responsible for the company’s ICT environment. She worked at Khulisa Management Services as a Knowledge Management Junior Researcher.​

Resource Mobilisation Officer-Magati Nindi


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Magati Nindi was born in Dar –es –Salaam, Tanzania. She holds a Master’s degree in International Relations majoring in peace studies and conflict resolution from the University of the North West. Her interest lies in Africa’s foreign direct investment post-independence and fundraising

Before being appointed as a Resource Mobilisation Officer at MISTRA, Magati worked as a Fund Developer at Jo’burg Child Welfare and the Legal Resources Centre. She also worked at the University of the North West Politics Department.

Publications Coordinator-Terry Shakinovsky


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​​Terry Shakinovsky has an Honours Degree in English and Oral History from the University of Witwatersrand and is an experienced writer and editor; creative content strategist; project and production manager, publishing and a journalist. 

Terry’s honours thesis is on Sharpeville township. She has had extensive involvement in anti-apartheid organisations such as CRIC where her work entailed building relationships with students, women’s and community organisations across South Africa. She has also worked in similar roles in the Soul City Institute. She has extensive experience in electronic media as a producer and media consultant and has worked in broadcasting environments. Terry has edited various books, reports as well as radio programmes.

Communications Officer-Siphokazi Sigenu


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Siphokazi Sigenu’s experience in media and communication started as a Communications, Outreach and Education Intern at the Public Protector South Africa. In this capacity, she provided a supportive role in all media relations, outreach, event planning and coordination as well as internal and external publication production activities.

At the end of her internship, she joined the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) as a Social Media and Web Specialist. The core functions of the role included research and sourcing of information as well as extrapolating data for reporting, including content development and analysis, online communication strategies as well as proofreading and editing.

She holds a BA Corporate Communication degree from the University of Johannesburg (UJ), majoring in Communication and Psychology and a Bachelor of Business Administration (Marketing Management) from the IMM Graduate School of Marketing with majors in Business Management and Financial Management. She also recently completed a BCom Honours in Business Management, majoring in Marketing at the University of South Africa (Unisa).   ​ 

Administrator-Thabang Moerane


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Thabang Moerane was born in Johannesburg and grew up in the North West Province. She matriculated at Pres Mangope Technical High School.

She has a Secretarial and Advanced Secretarial Diploma. She is presently studying with UNISA for a Bcom in Business Management. She previously worked on a contract basis before joining the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) in 1999 as a secretary. She was later promoted to the post of Personal Assistant.  In 2006 she was seconded to the presidency as Personal Assistant to the Head of Policy Co-ordination and Advisory Services (PCAS).

Thabang joined Mapungubwe Institute as an Administrator in July 2010.

Receptionist-Lindiwe Malaza


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Lindiwe Malaza is originally from Emalahleni (Witbank) in Mpumalanga Province and had relocated to Gauteng Province in 2011.

She matriculated at Elukhanyisweni Senior Secondary School.

She started working as a Nurse then later moved Administration where she worked as a Departmental Clerk and was later promoted to Secretary of the CEO.

In 2014 She worked in a Consulting firm (Engineering) and obtained experience in Tendering, control of documents as per SABS ISO 9001 quality management systems.

She has a certificate in Professional Receptionist & Personal Assistant through Damelin College, Microsoft Excel Advanced and had recently completed a Diploma in Executive Secretary in Human Resource.

Lindiwe’s interest is reading, Travelling, volunteering in foster homes and Event Décor.

She joined Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection in March 2018.

Intern: Research-Njabulo Zwane


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​Njabulo Zwane is a research intern at the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA) and is finishing his honours degree in the Wits History Department. He also writes about the arts and culture from time to time.​

Intern: Research-Nqobile Mangena


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Nqobile Mangena

Office Assistant-Rose Maleke Ngwato


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Rose Maleke Ngwato was born in Glen Cowie, Limpopo. She completed her primary schooling at the Sebajaneng Primary and went on to study at Matshumane Secondary.
In 1997 she moved to Johannesburg where she found employment at Cyber Cleaning and Security Services and thereafter joined MISTRA in 2010 as an Office Assistant.
Rose is an avid church lover and a devoted mother of three boys. She strongly believes that Ubuntu should be the principle that guides people into living harmoniously with each other.