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.

Joan Brickhill, Director

Joan Brickhill is the co-founder and executive director of SALO. Previously she was a journalist, broadcaster and political activist in Southern Africa 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 on them by agents of SA Military Intelligence. In 2002 she returned to South Africa after 28 years in exile, including 15 years in Zimbabwe.

Francisca Mdleleni, Senior General Manager

Francisca Mdleleni is SALO’s Senior General Manager. 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 holds a National Diploma in Tourism Management (cum laude), from the University of South Africa.

Marissa Van Rensburg, Deputy Projects Manager

Marissa van Rensburg joined the SALO team as a student intern in 2013. She is currently our Manager of Projects and Stakeholder Engagement for the Cape Town Office.

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 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.

Pardon Mawowa, General Manager (Finance and Admin)

Tawanda Sachikonye, Deputy Research Manager

Inger Smith, Media

Inger Smith has been working with SALO since March 2007.

Her work has included, designing the logo and letterhead and other media and print material, formatting publications, as well as filming and editing a number of DVDs. She also does work on the Website, social media pages.

Her 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 traveled 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

Virginia Brookes, Finance Manager

Athenkosi Thoba, Researcher

Athenkosi Thoba is a Researcher at (SALO), currently dealing with: Writing of Policy Analysis, Policy Dialogue and Policy Briefs. He does research on current regional and international affairs, including developments within the African continent. He has been with SALO since the end of 2013 when he came as an Honours Graduate from the University of Cape Town (UCT) and 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 Master’s Thesis focused on Global Human Rights Discourse and Its Relation with Africa’s Understanding of the Notion of Human Rights. The study focused on the case of the Conflict in Sudan (Darfur) and the call for Military Intervention. The central question was: Whether the Contemporary Human Rights Narrative as influenced by the Western countries has had an impact on how post-Colonial Africa understands the notion of Human Rights, both in theory and in practice.

Precious Malete, Researcher

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 University level. She joined SALO in November 2017 as an Intern and is currently Research, Development and Coordination officer with a special focus on knowledge products in the Cape Town office. Besides working for SALO, most of her free time is spent on student development activities at UCT, UWC and CPUT and carrying out voluntary community services such as environmental clean up campaigns, environmental seminars at universities, primary and high schools, and creating partnerships with the South African government as well as other governments in Africa in taking action to alleviate various social development challenges through volunteer work. Her main wish is to help alleviate social challenges in her home country South Africa however a country close to her heart is the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) after what she describes as a short but eye opening visit there. She wishes to return there and do more work on a long term basis. Her main research interests are Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Human Rights.

Lwazi Somya, Research, Development and Coordination officer

Lwazi Somya is an assistant researcher at the South African Liaison Office (SALO). 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. He 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. His areas of research include digital diplomacy, international security, regional integration and human rights.

Munjodzi Mutandiri, Programme Adviser

Munjodzi Mutandiri, is a human rights activist and a former student leader. Munjodzi has a rich history as a human rights defender and a community mobilizer. He has worked with a number of 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.

Fowziah 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.

Louis Whaley, Research, Development and Coordination Officer

Louis Whaley is a Research, Development and Coordination Officer at SALO’s Cape Town office.

He holds a Bachelor of Social Science in International Relations and Philosophy, and plans to study further in the field of international relations.

Ntsako Mogobe, Youth and Community outreach officer

Ntsako Mogobe is a Youth and Community Outreach Consultant at SALO. He is a passionate youth development practitioner serving 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 still 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 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 the 2006-2011. Currently, Ntsako continues to train and build youth development organizations in his local area, Soshanguve.

Lindiwe Mthembu, M and E

Lindiwe has attained a Bachelors Social Science Degree in Geography and Environmental Management, as well as a Social Science Honours Degree in Conflict Transformation and Peace Studies from the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN). Lindiwe has attained a Master’s in International Relations at Jilin University, China in 2017. Subsequent to that she completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Specializing in Monitoring and Evaluation at University of Witwatersrand in 2018. Her work experience has been in the government sector working in the environmental field for 4 years. Her professional spectrum has recently aligned within International Relations, and more specifically in the peace and security field. She works for Southern African Liaison Office (SALO) as an intern. She is a motivated, focused individual that believes in contributing to the betterment of our society through environmental and social justice.


Rethabile Maebaneng

Ofentse Lekukela

Ofentse Lekukela, joined SALO in September 2019 as a research intern. She is currently studying towards her Honors in Political Sciences at UNISA.

Tebogo Lekubu

Tebogo is a graduate of 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 Currently, he is working part-time as a researcher at the Southern African Liaison Office.

His learning 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

Ineke Stemmet

Ineke Stemmet is a master’s graduate at Leiden University in International Relations, specializing in Global Conflict in the Modern Era. She has conducted research on migrants, gender and sexual-based violence and the effects of COVID-19. She has volunteered for the United Nations, the International Institute for Criminal Investigation and the International Civil Society Centre. She is currently also a Junior Consultant for Humanidev Tech.

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