Bongiwe Mlangeni | Executive Director
Bongi joined the SJI in 2015 as its first Executive Director. She previously served as the communications director for the Graça Machel Trust and was the deputy director of Corruption Watch – an initiative that created a platform for the South African public to report corruption and hold the government accountable.
She began her career in 1994 as a journalist and has worked for leading print and broadcast media houses in South Africa, mainly covering socio-economic and women’s rights issues in Southern Africa. In 2004, she transitioned from journalism into the field of communications and has consulted for various international organisations.
Bongi holds a Masters of Management degree from the Wits School of Governance and has completed postgraduate studies at the Wits Business School and the London School of Economics. She is in the 11th class of the African Leadership Initiative fellowship programme.
Itumeleng Mahabane | Board Chair
Itumeleng Mahabane leads Brunswick’s Africa Business, Politics and Society practice. For more than fifteen years, including over a decade at Brunswick, he has advised leading multinationals on a signature corporate action, issue & crisis management and more recently on designing and demonstrating public and social value.
Before joining Brunswick, Mahabane was an award-winning financial journalist. He has written for the Mail and Guardian, the Sunday Times, the Business Times, the Financial Mail and Business Day. He was a political economy columnist and has contributed to some books on political economy.
Mahabane is the chairperson of the Social Justice Initiative, a member of the Board of Trustees of Equal Education Law Centre and the Waterford Kamhlaba Foundation of South Africa. He is a fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Geoff Budlender | Board Director
Geoff, SC, is an advocate practising in Cape Town, South Africa. He works mainly in the areas of constitutional law, human rights, administrative law and other aspects of public law. He was one of the founders of the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) in 1979, and was its National Director from 1994 to 1996. He was then appointed Director General of the Department of Land Affairs during the Mandela administration, a post he held until January 2000. He then rejoined the LRC as Director of its Constitutional Litigation Unit.
Since 1994 Geoff has litigated cases dealing with the death penalty, evictions, HIV/AIDS, housing rights, land rights, access to justice, and the rights of women under customary law. He appears regularly in the Constitutional Court and has acted as a Judge of the High Court of South Africa in Johannesburg and Cape Town. He has a strong background in social justice philanthropy and is on the Boards of the Claude Leon Foundation and the Sigrid Rausing Trust.
Wendy Luhabe | Board Director
Wendy has extensive board experience in Corporate Strategy, Corporate Governance and Human Capital Development in both the private and public sectors. She is best known for her pioneering social enterprises, human resources strategy development, and promoting the economic participation of women through a portfolio investment company and a venture capital equity fund.
She is an author, a public speaker and thought leader who is passionate about leadership, mentorship and women’s development. Currently, Wendy is an adviser to The Big Break Legacy (a South African entrepreneurial initiative), on the Supervisory Board of the IMD business school in Lausanne, Switzerland, and a member of the International Council of Business Women Leaders.
Wendy has also received three honorary doctorates in recognition of her work with women.
Dugan Fraser | Board Director
Dugan studied Sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand, Dugan worked for donor organisations that offered grants to civil society organisations and low-income banking. In 1988 he moved to government where he worked as a monitoring and evaluation specialist at the Department of Land Affairs, the Public Service Commission, the Department of Public Service and Administration, and the Department of Social Development.
He has held positions at the Presidency, the United Nations Development Programme, and has worked as an evaluation consultant for a range of diverse clients. Dugan has also been a programme consultant to a range of different donors, including the Ford Foundation and Hivos, amongst others.
Sisonke Msimang | Board Director
Sisonke is the author of Always Another Country: A memoir of exile and home. She is a South African writer whose work is focused on race, gender and democracy. She has written for a range of international publications, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Guardian, Newsweek and Al Jazeera.
She has a Masters Degree in Political Science from the University of Cape Town and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics and Communication Studies from Macalester College in the USA. Sisonke has held fellowships with the Aspen Institute, Yale University and the University of the Witswatersrand.
For More info visit: www.sisonkemsimang.com
Harald Harvey | Board Director
Harald has had more than 25 years of experience as a leader in civil society, government, corporate and strategic management consulting across multiple industries and geographic areas. He has worked on regulatory strategy, shared value, economic development, competitiveness and institutional transformation. He has occupied a number of leadership positions and has acted as a consultant for global strategic advisory firms. He held the position of Managing Director of SABMiller Asia as well as Executive Director: Strategy and Business Support at South African Breweries Ltd, the South African subsidiary of SABMiller PLC. In addition, as the Deputy Director General of South Africa’s National Department of Transport, he led the process of fundamentally reinventing the national transport strategy dubbed “Moving South Africa” and restructuring the institutional landscape.
He joined the Department of Transport after serving 10 years in the labour movement, the majority of that time as a senior office-bearer and Deputy General Secretary in the COSATU-affiliated Transport & General Workers Union. Harald holds a B.Soc.Sc (Hons) in Sociology from the University of Cape Town.