Who did the talking?
Nick Benidell is the founding director, dean and Sasol Chair of Strategic Management at the University of Pretoria's Gordon Institute of Business Science (Gibs), which opened its doors in January 2000. After an initial career in the industry in the mining and manufacturing sectors in sales and general management in the Barlow Rand Group, Benidell has focused his career for the past 20 years in the area of business education.
Benidell's academic qualifications include a PhD from the University of Washington in Seattle and an MBA from the University of Cape Town and he is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
His expertise is business strategy and strategic leadership and his academic and consulting work, although predominantly in South Africa, includes work in the United States, Europe and Australia.
Thabiso Thema has become one of the most recognisable voices in South African broadcasting. Thema, or "TT" as he is known to his many fans, ended his four-year association with Metro FM to join Classic FM at the end of January 2007. He presented the mid-morning show between 9am and 12pm, known as "The Classic Break with TT'. In April 2008, TT joined the newly launched e-News Channel, South Africa's first 24-hour news channel, as a sports anchor. TT's latest move to join Radio 2000 as presenter of the evening talk show "Talk on 2000" presents him with yet another new and exciting challenge.
Mohale Ralebitso joined Old Mutual Emerging Markets in September 2011 as its marketing, communications and corporate affairs director. Ralebitso gained his experience in senior positions at Herdbuoys McCann-Erickson, Jupiter Drawing Room, TBWA SA, Liberty Holdings and Absa. He has worked on some of the country's top brands, including SAB, Absa, SA Tourism and MTN. At Absa he was responsible for the development of a strategy to micro-segment the business's view of the market and deliver segment-specific customer propositions. He has qualifications from Queens College, New York, and the University of Cape Town and has attended the Harvard Business School/Wits Executive Education Programme.
Mfundo Nkuhlu was appointed as managing director of corporate banking at Nedbank Group in 2009, after filling the same position at Nedbank Corporate since 2005. Previously, he was the managing director of Nedbank Africa, responsible for developing and implementing the bank's growth strategy in Southern Africa. Before joining Nedbank in April 2004, he was the general manager of strategy and planning in the South African Revenue Service. He has participated in executive development programmes with the Harvard Business School, Insead, Wits and Gibs. He is currently a non-executive director on the board of the Industrial Development Corporation.
Graeme Bloch is an education analyst and senior researcher at the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection, as well as being a visiting adjunct professor at the University of Witwatersrand's (Wits's) Public and Development Management School. He was a policy analyst at the Development Bank of South Africa, taught in the education faculty at the University of Western Cape and was project manager for youth development at the Joint Education Trust. He has worked as head of social development in the department of welfare and as director of social development in Johannesburg. Before 1994, he was executive member of the National Education Crisis Committee and of the United Democratic Front. He was detained and arrested numerous times for his involvement in the democratic movement and was banned from 1976 to 1981. He is a graduate of the University of Cape Town and is now a member of its council. He is a director of the Lafarge Education Trust and serves on the board of Equal Education.
Ngoako Selamolela is the president of the South African Student Council. Born in 1987 in the Capricorn district of Limpopo, he holds a bachelor's degree in agricultural administration from the University of Limpopo and is at present pursuing a master's degree in developmental studies through Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. He is a political activist and is affiliated to the ANC Youth League and the South African Communist Party.
Professor Mary Metcalfe, now professor of education at Wits, first taught as an unqualified teacher in 1974 in the field of remedial reading. She holds a teacher's certificate, a bachelor of education, a master's degree in education and a diploma in specialised education. She was a teacher and a principal of a remedial centre before working in teacher education at the Johannesburg College of Education and at Wits between 1982 and 1994. She was elected as a member for the ANC in the Gauteng provincial legislature in the first democratic elections in 1994 and was appointed as the member of the executive council (MEC) for education in Gauteng, where she served from 1994 to 1999. After the 1999 elections, she was appointed as MEC for agriculture, conservation, environment and land and served until 2004. She indicated her wish to return to work in education and was released from her seat in the provincial legislature and her role as deputy speaker to join Wits as head of the School of Education, where she had the task of merging the Johannesburg College of Education and the Wits education faculty into a single school. She served as head of the school from 2004 to 2009, before joining the new department of higher education and training as director general in 2009. She joined the Development Bank of Southern Africa as lead sector specialist: social infrastructure in May 2011. She is a visiting fellow on the Soweto campus of the University of Johannesburg and a visiting adjunct professor at Wits.
Mamaponya Magdeline (Maggie) Makgoba is the president of the Professional Educators Union (formerly known as Tuata) and works for the Gauteng department of basic education as the principal of Progress Comprehensive High School in Soweto. She started teaching at Sithuthukile Primary School in Mpumalanga before moving- to Itekeng and Moriting primary- schools. Makgoba specialised in mathematics, accounting and English while at Moriting and was promoted to head of department and to principal. From there, she was appointed principal of Progress Comprehensive High School. She holds a primary teachers course qualification from Jabulani Technical, a secondary education certificate and a secondary education diploma from Vista University, as well as a diploma in accounting from the Randse Afrikaanse Universiteit (now the University of Johannesburg). Makgoba is also the vice-president (gender) at the National Council of Trade Unions and represents the Professional Educators Union in the budget chamber of the education, training and development practices sector education training authority as well as being a negotiator in the Education Labour Relations Council.
Lukhanyo Mangona is head of Equal Education's Gauteng branch, which is based in Tembisa. Equal Education is a community- and membership-based organisation. It advocates for quality and equality in the South African education system and engages in evidence-based activism for improving the nation's schools. He was born in the village of Mxaxo in King William's Town in the Eastern Cape and was educated in both the Eastern and Western Cape. Before joining Equal Education, Mangona worked in the mining industry as a metallurgical technician. He has also worked for academic support programmes that cater for high school learners.