Prof Barney Pityana (Chairperson)

Nyameko Barney Pityana is the retired Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of South Africa (Unisa). He left office in December 2010 having served 9 years in that office. He has since served in honorary positions as the Deputy President of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) (2017-2021), and as the General Secretary of the Network of African Academies of Science (NASAC) (2016-2021). Earlier, he served as the founding independent non-Executive Chairperson of Uthingo, the licensed lottery operator in South Africa, (1998-2005).


Prof Pityana has been active in higher education policy and management in Africa, including South Africa. In this capacity he has published on higher education management, read papers at conferences, served in the Executive Committee of the International Council for Distance and eLearning (ICDE) for four years. He was elected the founding President of the African Council on Distance Education (ACDE) in 2002, in the Executive of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, and he was the keynote speaker at the World Conference on Higher Education convened by UNESCO in Paris in 2000. In South Africa he has served as Chair of Higher Education South Africa (HESA). On policy issues, Pityana has served on the CHE Task Team on an extended Curriculum, and as an independent Assessor on the Mangosuthu University of Technology, as Evaluator of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education of the Teaching and Learning Quality Unit, and, currently, Independent Assessor on the Vaal University of Technology.


Prof Pityana is a lawyer and theologian and a notable human rights academic and activist. An admitted Attorney, he was appointed Chairperson of the South African Human Rights Commission (1995-2001), and a member of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (1997-2003). In both capacities he was instrumental in the establishment of the National Institutions Coordinating Council that brought together national human rights institutions with the support of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. He has contributed to the United Nations human rights and development programmes as an expert and consultant over many years. He also served as Director of the Geneva-based World Council of Churches’ Programme to Combat Racism for five years. He served as a member off the founding Board of the Global Reporting Initiative (1997-2002), the international standard setting body for sustainability, accountability and good corporate governance.


Pityana has degrees in Law from the University of South Africa, and Theology from King’s College London and the University of Cape Town where he obtained a PhD in Religious Studies. He trained for the Anglican ministry in Oxford and served in parishes in the Church of England before moving to Geneva in 1988. He has published extensively in theology and human rights law, as well as in higher education management and leadership and Open Distance Learning. His current interests are in the exploration of Public Morality in Politics and in corporate governance.

In 2006 President Thabo Mbeki awarded him the Grand Counselor of the Baobab (GCOB) in that year’s Presidential Honours List. He has honorary degrees and fellowships from several international institutions including the Commonwealth of Learning, King’s College London and of STIAS; DD honoris causa from Trinity College, Hartford; LLD honoris causa from Athabasca University in Canada, University of Buenos Aires, and from Rhodes University Grahamstown. He is emeritus professor of law at the University of South Africa, and an Honorary Visiting Professor in Philosophy in the Allan Gray Centre for Ethical Leadership at Rhodes University Grahamstown. In 2021 he accepted an appointment as the Honorary professor in the Centre for Advanced Critical Studies in Higher Education Transformation at the Nelson Mandela University in Gqeberha. Until 2021 he was a member of the Council of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and served in various committees of Council. He is a Member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (MASSAf).


Among others, he serves on the Board of the Thabo Mbeki Foundation, and as a Trustee of the Archbishop Tutu Intellectual Property Trust. In 2021 he was appointed Deputy Chairperson of the Refugee Appeals Authority of South Africa. In 2022 he was appointed non-executive Chairperson of the National Lotteries Commission. An ordained Anglican priest, in 2011 he was made a Provincial Canon of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.

Ms Beryl Ferguson

Mrs. Beryl Ferguson is a seasoned leader and entrepreneur with over 30 years experience. She has been active in business, in the NGO/NPO space including the Public sector. Through her experience in the Public Sector, she is well acquainted with the PFMA, Treasury Regulations and the planning of reporting to the legislature.


She is strong at analyzing the capability of organizations and to realign both its financial and human capital assets to achieve its set mandate. In her previous chairmanship she directed the integration of the National Zoological Garden (NZG) into the South African National Biodiversity (SANBI).


Mrs. Beryl Ferguson strengths in board roles required her to be instrumental in driving the governance agenda in aligning the organizations performance to strict statutory compliance in ensuring that financial management in the organisation adheres to the regulations. (Applicable laws and policies.)


As a leader she understands that strategic innovation should be applied throughout the organization at all times and constantly updates the business to achieve organizational performance. Her role in board chairmanship and currently deputy chairman is anchored on strong board governance and the balancing of the collective participation of all board members.

Ms Irene Ramafola

I am a qualified Chartered Accountant with over 15 years working experience and over 10 years public sector experience. I started my career at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), within the Financial Services division. I then moved on to a management role at the Auditor General South Africa, overseeing statutory audits. I was subsequently head hunted at the Department of Economic Development for a Chief Financial Officer role where I successfully managed a R1 billion budget, obtaining the department’s first and subsequent clean audit awards.


I am currently acting Chief Financial Officer of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic), overseeing a budget of R10 billion. I am also currently the Chief Director at the Department of Trade Industry and Competition overseeing shared services for the department’s seventeen public entities.

Mr Lionel October

I was appointed the Director-General (DG) of theDepartment of Trade, Industry and Competition(the dtic) in South Africa from 2011 to 30 April2021. I was one of the longest serving Director-Generals, received the Best Performing Director-General Award in 2015, and during my tenure,the dtic received numerous Best PerformingDepartment Awards.


Prior to joining public service, I worked in thetrade union movement for 10 years, serving asthe General Secretary of the South AfricanClothing and Textile Workers Union (SACTWU),and as a senior commissioner at the Commissionfor Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration(CCMA).


I hold a MSc Degree in Economics (Development)from the University of London, as well as a LawDegree and BA Honours in Development Studiesfrom the University of the Western Cape.

Ms Precious Mvulane

Precious Mvulane is an award winning business woman, author and content developer. She has expertise in finance, compliance and governance.


Precious has been involved in governance structures for the past 15 years. The entities include local municipalities, government agencies and national departments, which almost of them are extended.


She currently sits on 8 governance structures including audit, risk management, ethics, and professional statutory and special committees. She chairs 4 of those structures.

Mr King Tembinkosi Bonakele

King Tembinkosi Bonakele is a seasoned professional in competition law and policy, as well as organizational development and strategy, based in Johannesburg. Following a notable tenure at the Competition Commission of South Africa serving 18 years, with the last nine years as Commissioner and CEO, he transitioned to consultancy work. His expertise extends to various sectors of the South African economy, particularly in product markets and competitiveness.


Bonakele holds qualifications in law and business administration, with an MBA to his credit. Under his leadership, the Competition Commission achieved significant milestones, becoming one of South Africa’s top-performing public institutions and gaining global recognition as one of the leading competition agencies. His management expertise has been instrumental in these accomplishments, earning him several leadership awards, while the Commission itself earned numerous performance awards during his tenure.


With extensive experience in the public sector and a wealth of insights and data across industries, Bonakele offers invaluable expertise in public policy and competition law. His consultancy services provide strategic guidance to organizations seeking to direct complex regulatory landscapes and enhance their competitive edge.


  1. Jodi Scholtz – Commissioner
  2. Tina Maharaj – Chief Financial Officer
  3. Tintswalo Nkuna – Executive Manager – Regulatory Compliance
  4. Lesedi Boihang – Executive Manager – Legal
  5. Anashnee Maharaj-Domun – Acting Chief Operation Officer
  6. Xolisile Njapha – Interim Company Secretariat
  7. Andre Kritzinger – Acting – Chief Information Officer