Meet our board of directors
Read more on the names at the helm of the Mail & Guardian.
Professor Malegapuru William Makgoba: Chairperson of the board
Makgoba is a physician, trained in molecular and cellular biology at Oxford University, where he also received a DPhil in human immunogenetics. He subsequently studied and worked at the National Cancer Institute at the United States National Institutes of Health. Makgoba subsequently became chairperson of the board of the South African Medical Research Council and then its president.
In 2002 he was elected as a foreign associate of the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academics. He received the Science for Society gold medal of the Academy of Science of South Africa in 2003. Makgoba served as co-editor of the World Bank group publication Disease and Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa, due early next year. In 2005 he was recipient of the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa’s Golden Jubilee Award; the World Medical Association’s recognition as ‘the most caring physician of the world”; and Unitech’s newsmaker of the year. Makgoba is the vice-chancellor of the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Trevor Ncube: Owner and CE, Mail & Guardian
Ncube bought the Mail & Guardian in 2002, and is the major shareholder of M&G Media. He is also the founder, owner and executive chairperson of the Zimbabwe Independent and The Standard.
Ncube started in journalism in 1989 when he was appointed assistant editor of the Financial Gazette in Zimbabwe. In 1991 he was promoted to executive editor and in 1994 received the Zimbabwean Editor of the Year Award.
Ncube is the president of Print Media SA, the Southern African Regional Poverty Network and the Institute for War and Peace Reporting. He is also the acting chairperson of the Zimbabwe chapter of the Commonwealth Press Union. Ncube has a BA honours in economic history from the University of Zimbabwe.
Ferial Haffajee: Editor-in-chief, Mail & Guardian
Haffajee assumed the position of editor-in-chief of the Mail & Guardian in February last year. She is the newspaper’s fifth editor, and the first woman to rise to that position. Previously, she worked at Financial Mail as senior editor responsible for political reporting; she covered the Presidency and the tripartite alliance and was the publication’s managing editor. She has also worked at the SABC as a radio producer and television reporter. But the pen has always beckoned. She cut her teeth at the M&G as a cub reporter and served the newspaper as media editor, economics writer and associate editor before assuming the hot seat. Her part-time passions include training young journalists, political risk analysis, and training various organisations in media skills. When she finds time, she travels and eats (a lot) with her family and consequently has to go the gym quite regularly.
She is a previous winner of the Sanlam financial journalism awards; was named as one of 10 Shoprite/Checkers Women of the Year in 2004 and was also named as one of The Media magazine’s Top 10 women in media for the same year. Haffajee is a judge for the annual InterPress Service global correspondent competition and the Mondi awards for magazine journalism.
Hoosain Karjieker: Chief operating officer, M&G Media
Karjieker joined the company as financial director in 1999. He completed his articles with M Brey & Associates in 1993, and thereafter completed a two-year stint as a consultant to the Cape Town City Council. He joined Multichoice in Cape Town and progressed through various roles at the company, ultimately heading finance in the IT division of the company. He represents M&G Media in its joint venture with MWeb, which owns Mail & Guardian Online, and sits on the board of the Print Media SA, as an alternate director to Ncube. Karjieker holds a BCompt degree from the University of South Africa, a diploma in internal auditing as well as a diploma in project management.
Sir Robert Phillis: Chief executive, Guardian Media Group
Phillis joined the Guardian Media Group in December 1997. Before that he was deputy director general of the BBC, where he worked closely with SABC. He was previously chief executive of ITN, group MD of Carlton Communications and MD of Central Independent Television.
He is non-executive chairperson of All3Media Group and was appointed a non-executive director of ITV on February 7 this year and is also an independent non-executive director of the LTA. During 2003 Phillis chaired an independent review into government communications which was published in January last year.
Bunguza Peter Vundla: Deputy executive chairperson, AMB Advisory Services
Having formerly served on the boards of the National Chemical Products, Sentrachem, Sanlam and New Africa Investment Limited, Vundla is deputy executive chairperson of AMB Advisory Services. He is also chairperson of HerdBuoys McCann-Erickson, Alcatel SA, New Seasons Investments and the Black Business Executive Circle. Vundla also sits on the boards of the South African Excellence Foundation, Santam and WesBank and is a trustee of a number of NGOs.
Jason Zeelie: MD, Mail & Guardian Publishing
Zeelie was appointed MD in November this year. He has amassed experience from his early days at SA Auto Trader and also ran his own publishing company. In between all of this Zeelie has enjoyed travelling, both locally and abroad. He spends his time with his wife, two children and friends and is also our action man with a love for quad-bikes, speed boats and even faster cars. Previously he was the Gauteng retail and special projects manager for Independent Newspapers, where he ran sales departments for The Star, Pretoria News and Diamond Field Advertiser. He also ran the successful special projects team. He was the general manager of Junk Mail, Johannesburg, as well as the company’s special projects manager. He helped build Junk Mail into one of the country’s pre-eminent classified publishing companies. The experience gained from running and launching various types of publications will be harnessed to place M&G Publishing on a growth path. He is excited to be part of a dynamic and well-respected company and is looking forward to having a big hand in its future successes.
Naismith began his career in accounting and after this he gained management accounting experience with Halls Brother, a subsidiary of the United States corporate Warner Lambert. He joined Guardian Newspapers Limited in 1987 as financial analyst and company secretary and in 1990 was appointed as the company’s first finance director.
In August 2005 Naismith was appointed to the Guardian Newspaper board’s new position of director of business affairs. He remains as company secretary, and is also the chairperson of the board of the company’s digital education business Learn.co.uk. Naismith was a non-executive director of the Mail & Guardian until 2002. Since then he has acted as alternate for the Guardian‘s director on the M&G board.
Beaumont is the strategy and business development director for Guardian Newspapers, where she works with its board in the determination of long-term strategy and shorter-term priorities and objectives for the business. She is responsible for the preparation of business plans for new businesses and new product development. She joined Guardian Newspapers in 1983. In 1988 she became head of the ad planning and research department. In 1990 she made her first visit to the then Weekly Mail & Guardian to explore the possibility of working together on the distribution of The Guardian Weekly in South Africa. In 1993 she became a director of the M&G and in 1995 she joined the Guardian Newspaper’s Board.
She is married with three children and has a degree in modern history from Oxford University.