Staff and Consultants

SALO is staffed by a team of experienced programme, administrative and financial staff who manage the daily operations of the organization.  The SALO team is deeply committed to the values and ethos of SALO, ensuring that the organization itself demonstrates good governance, institutional memory, continuity, and the translation of workplans into excellent practice.

In addition, SALO supplements its full-time staff with ad-hoc, flexible competence by contracting a wide range of research and other specialist skills, creating a flexible network of practitioners that add value to the research/knowledge base of Southern Africa.

Francisca Mdleleni – Senior General Manager

Francisca holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Tourism Management,  from the University of South Africa. She is Kenyan born and educated, and a South African citizen. She joined SALO in June 2008. Previously, she worked as an Administration and Public Relations Manager for a large national company based in Nairobi. Additional experience in finance and admin gained while working in South Africa has stood her in good stead for her current responsibilities in driving SALO’s operations. Francisca is currently SALO’s Senior General Manager.

Joan Brickhill, Director

Joan is the co-founder and executive director of SALO. Previously she was a journalist, broadcaster, and political activist in Southern Africa for over three decades. Among others she worked for various African publications – Radio Freedom and the ANC Information Department in Lusaka, the BBC World Service/African Service, and the Zimbabwe and SA Broadcasting Corporations. In 1987 she and her Zimbabwean husband were injured a car bomb attack by agents of SA Military Intelligence. In 2002 she returned to South Africa after 28 years in exile, including 15 years in Zimbabwe.

Pardon Mawowa – General Manager (Finance and Admin)

Pardon holds a Bcom in Economics from UNISA. He has more than 13 years of NGO experience in Finance and Administration within African context/environment (Zambia, Guinea Bissau and South Africa).

Lwazi Somya – Research, Development and Programmes Coordinator

Lwazi has a Bachelor of Social Sciences Honours in International Relations from the University of Cape Town and is currently a Chevening Scholar reading towards his Msc. in International Relations at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. He is a youth activist and aspiring academic. He is the Former Vice President of the University of Cape Town’s Student Representative Council (2013/2014), and a former student leader of the #FeesMustFall and #RhodesMustFall movements.  His areas of research include digital diplomacy, international security, regional integration, and human rights. Lwazi is currently a Research, Development and Programmes Coordinator at SALO.

Munjodzi Mutandiri – Senior Programme Adviser

Munjodzi is a human rights activist and a former student leader.  He has a rich history as a human rights defender and a community mobilizer. He has worked with several civic organizations in the two decades he has been an activist. He has run campaigns including the Act Now Against Political Violence Targeting Women campaign. Munjodzi has worked across the region and the continent mobilizing and organising solidarity on Zimbabwe. Connecting people, building networks and people’s movements is a commitment Munjodzi pursues with unparalleled passion. Munjodzi is currently a Senior Programme Adviser at SALO.

Marissa Van Rensburg – Deputy Projects Manager

Marissa holds an Honours degree in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Stellenbosch. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Environment, Society and Sustainable Development at the University of Cape Town. Marissa is active within the ANC Alliance. In 2019 she was appointed as a board member of the ANC’s OR Tambo School of Leadership. She previously served as the Deputy Secretary of the ANC Youth League in the Western Cape, and as a SASCO representative on the Students Representative Council at the University of Cape Town. Marissa van Rensburg joined the SALO team as a student intern in 2013. Marissa is currently Deputy Projects Manager and Stakeholder Engagement at SALO.

Milis’uthando Mbete – Research and Stakeholder Engagement Officer

Milisa is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Diplomatic Studies at the University of Pretoria and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations and Political Science and a Bachelor of Social Science Honours degree in Development Studies. In 2018, she spent 7 months with a Zimbabwean NGO working in the field of human rights and election monitoring. She is also an activist within various ANC structures and a former student leader at the University of Pretoria. Her research interests are in diplomacy, foreign policy and international relations theory. Milis’uthando joined SALO as a volunteer and then research intern in 2016 and is currently the Political Liaison and Stakeholder Engagement Officer.

Louis Whaley – Project, Development and Operations Coordinator

Louis holds a Bachelor of Social Science in International Relations and Philosophy and plans to study further in the field of international relations. His research interests include foreign policy analysis and conflict, particularly in Southern Africa. Louis is currently a Projects and Operations Coordinator at SALO.

Ineke Stemmet – Research, Development and Operations Coordinator

Ineke has obtained a social science bachelor’s degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) and an honours degree in International Relations from the University of Stellenbosch. She is a master’s graduate at Leiden University in International Relations, specialising in Global Conflict in the Modern Era. She has researched migrants, gender and sexual-based violence and the effects of COVID-19. She is interested in gender equality, conflict studies, the Mozambican crisis and LGBTQI+ issues. Ineke currently holds the position of Research and Operations Coordinator at SALO.

Athenkosi Thoba – Researcher

Athenkosi joined SALO in 2013 after graduating with his Honours Degree at the University of Cape Town (UCT) as an Intern. He is currently a PhD Candidate with the Department of Political Studies at the University of Western Cape (UWC). He holds an MA in Political Studies (UWC) and an Honours Degree in International Relations (UCT). His interests include the global human rights discourse and its relationship with Africa’s understanding of the notion of human rights, especially in terms of the Conflict in Sudan (Darfur) and the call for military intervention.

Athenkosi is currently a Researcher at SALO.

Lindiwe Nontando Mthembu – Monitoring and Evaluation Officer

Lindiwe has a bachelor’s degree in Social Science in Geography and Environmental Management; a Social Science Honours Degree in Conflict Transformation and Peace Studies from the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN); and a master’s degree in International Relations from Jilin University, China. She has also completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Management, specialising in Monitoring and Evaluation at the University of Witwatersrand.  She has four years of experience working in the government sector in the environmental field. Her interests include social and environmental justice. Lindiwe is currently a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at SALO.

Ntsako Mogobe – Youth and Community outreach officer

Ntsako trains and builds youth development organizations in his local area, Soshanguve. He is a passionate youth development practitioner and served under the Tshwane Youth Development Unit as its Local and International Relations Committee Convener between 2012 and 2017 in the office of the Executive Mayor. He advocates for youth development mainstreaming in all government departments. Formerly, he was a student activist who led the Congress of South African Students (COSAS) as its Tshwane regional Chairperson and was subsequently elected as the student bodies’ Provincial Chairperson and was head of Organizational Development and Training of the ANCYL in Tshwane between 2008 and 2012. His activism in student politics is from 2006-2011. Ntsako is currently a Youth and Community Outreach Officer at SALO.

Precious Malete – Research, Development and Coordination Officer

Precious is a graduate of the University of Cape Town. She received a Bachelor of Social Sciences majoring in International Relations and Industrial Sociology; she is multilingual with French as one of her electives taken at the university level. She is involved in student development activities at UCT, UWC and CPUT and carries out voluntary community services such as environmental cleanup campaigns and seminars at universities, primary schools, and high schools. She strives to create partnerships with the South African government and other African governments to act against various social development challenges. Her ambitions are to alleviate social challenges in South Africa and the DRC where she wishes to work in the future. Precious is currently a Research, Development and Coordination Officer at SALO.

Tebogo Lekubu – Research, Development and Coordination Officer

Tebogo has obtained a bachelor’s degree in BSocSci Politics, International Relations and Public Policy and Administration at the University of Cape Town and has completed his Honours degree in Politics at the University of South Africa. He has worked as a Liaison Officer for the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services in the International Affairs & Trade branch. His interests include decolonial studies (decoloniality) as well as international diplomacy. Furthermore, during his formative years, having been part of the Johannesburg Junior Council, he realised his passion for community development. Tebogo is currently a Research, Development and Coordination Officer at SALO.

Fowzia Davids, Research, Development and Coordination Officer

Fowzia Davids is a graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science with an MSc in African Development in 2018 and of the University of Cape Town with a Bachelor of Social Science in Economics, International Relations, and Media and Writing and a Bachelor of Arts Honours in International Relations in 2015 and 2016 respectively. She has been with the Southern African Liaison Office as an intern between 2014 and 2016 and returned in 2020 as the Research, Development, and Coordination Officer. She has work experience at democracy advocacy organisations and a background in political and security risk analysis. Previously, she was the Deputy Secretary General of the UCT Students’ Representative Council in 2014, a South Africa-Washington International Programme fellow in 2017. Finally, she was an academic tutor focusing on international trade, international organisations, and conflict in world politics.

Inger Smith Media

Inger’s short films have travelled across the world to film festivals such as the Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland, the Philadelphia International Gay and Lesbian film festival in the USA and the Commonwealth Film festival in Manchester, UK. In 2010 Inger premiered her first full-length Documentary film entitled “Road to Pride” which won the Third Audience Award at the “13th Thessaloniki Int. LGBTQ Film Festival” in Greece in 2011 and travelled to film festivals around the World such as “Pink Apple Film Festival” in Switzerland. In 2012 she was published in the book South African Cinema 1896 – 2010 by Dr Martin Botha and named as one of the “exciting directorial voices … (to) hold immense promise for future feature film-making in post-apartheid South Africa”. She has been described as “A female voice in the South African New Wave” in an article on channel24.co.za. Inger works on Media at SALO.

Tawanda Sachikonye – Research Consultant

Tawanda Sachikonye is a research consultant for SALO. He was the lead researcher for SALO’s SA-Zimbabwe Relations Vol 1 study published in 2013, edited by Dr Tara Polzer Ngwato. Tawanda is a PhD candidate at the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Political Studies department, his thesis focuses on the relationship between South Africa’s developmental priorities and its foreign policy. As a part-time lecturer at the Political Studies department, he has taught undergraduate International Political Economy (IPE) courses. Tawanda holds a master’s degree from Rhodes University’s Department of Political and International Studies, where he taught and facilitated undergraduate courses in “South African Politics”, “Africa and International Relations”, “Thinking Africa”, “Political Philosophy and Collective Violence” in his capacity as a teaching assistant and academic tutor. His interests include: South African foreign policy (including SA-Zim relations), African International Relations, International Political Economy, Development Studies, Development Economics, Brazil-Africa relations, Japan-Africa relations.

Lily Manoim – Intern

Lily has a master’s degree in Organisational and Institutional Studies from Wits University, where her research looked at security in Johannesburg. She has an Honours in Labour and Economic Sociology from Wits, and a Bachelor of Social Sciences from UCT in Economics, Geography, and Sociology. She has worked in office administration, research, and also has a background in activism and civil society. Her interests range from the military industry to LGBTQI+ struggles, to the work towards justice in Palestine. Lily is currently an intern at SALO.

Rethabile Maebaneng – Intern

Rethabile is a Media consultant graduate from Boston college (Diploma). He volunteered at SALO as an events organiser from 2012 until 2013. Subsequently, he worked as a Data Capturer on a project for Statistics S.A in partnership with the Department of Home Affairs. This project’s goal was to digitize South African civil records for the improvement of service delivery. Rethabile currently works as an intern at SALO.

Jordan Dittmar – Intern

Jordan recently completed her bachelor’s degree in International Relations at Leiden University and is about to start her master’s degree in Public International Law with a focus on Human Rights Law. She has previously worked with Amnesty International in the Netherlands. She was the chair of the Amnesty International Student Group the Hague. Her academic interests revolve largely around issues of human rights. She has done research on  the human rights problems surrounding migration and the rights of the female child in Africa. She has a deep interest in the functioning of human rights in the African continent. She is able to incorporate these dimensions of herself into the work she does. Her interest in human rights is addressed in blog posts she has written for both her personal blog, Leiden University’s blog and a student research magazine at her university. Outside of academics, she thoroughly enjoys reading, writing, exercise and travel. She was previously awarded the Steve Biko Award for humanitarianism in high school. She is currently working as an Intern at SALO.