EMS Alumni profiles


In celebration of over a century of academic excellence at the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, we showcase our esteemed alumni in a series of profiles:

Angela Qithi

Angela Qithi, a University of Pretoria (UP) alumna and a talented human resource professional, skilled in managing human resources, talent management, employer branding and diversity, as well as equity and inclusion, is proud to be associated with one of the top institutions in Africa.

Qithi completed an MCom in Human Resource and Labour Relations with distinction from UP. Her exceptional performance earned her an academic award for overall best achiever in the programme and a spot on the EMS Dean’s List. She is now juggling two careers as a lecturer in the Department of Human Resource Management and as a Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) Leader in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at a Fortune 500 company.

Read more about her background and career.


Gontse Mosese

An opportunity to work as a student assistant in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences Dean’s Office paved the way for a promising burgeoning career in the financial sector for University of Pretoria (UP) alumnus, Gontse Mosese.

A BCom Financial Sciences cum laude graduate, Mosese has reaped the rewards of his hard work and self-motivation during his studies, which has contributed to his career. He currently works as a Senior Consultant at Deloitte Bermuda and joins an elite group of proud alumni flying the UP flag high abroad.

Having been a beneficiary of acts of kindness and generosity during his studies, he is constantly inspired to lead a life full of purpose, making a positive impact on the lives of others. “I try to make an impact where I can, but the greatest joy for me is seeing someone that you helped previously, make it big in life. This is what inspires and motivates me – the simple act of kindness that creates a positive impact, because I too, am a beneficiary of kindness. I have been blessed to have been carried and assisted by so many on my own personal journey,” he says.

Read more about his academic journey at UP and his thriving career.


Julia Sediane

Julia Sediane, a University of Pretoria (UP) alumnus and an independent internal audit consultant, says the networks she built while completing her MPhil Internal Auditing have been beneficial to her career. The decision to go independent was not an easy one, however the professional networks created during the course simplified the process of securing more work opportunities.

“The MPhil degree enabled me to create new networks with fellow internal auditors who were already in very senior positions in their respective companies. I decided to become an internal audit consultant and some of my classmates have been instrumental in opening leads for me to find more consultancy work,” she says.

Read more about her academic journey and how she rallied support to complete her studies successfully.


Zolile Moyo

Business magnate and CEO Sizwe Nxasana, who founded Future Schools, a private school for underprivileged children, has inspired University of Pretoria (UP) alumnus Zolile Moyo to also steer change in communities one day.

Moyo, a chief audit executive at the South African Human Rights Commission, has reaped the rewards of quality education and hopes to give back by sharing his internal auditing knowledge and skillsets at schools. “I would like to teach internal auditing in order to help transform the internal auditing profession and also market this field. Internal auditing is still not known and understood by most people, and it should be our role as practicing auditors to promote it at high school level,” says Moyo who has been working as an internal auditor for the past 16 years

Read more about his career, ambitions and what fuels him.


Dr Kholadi Tlabela

Pursuing a career in research requires one to be a critical thinker and to have a flair for knowledge production that solves some of society’s problems. This is what attracted Dr Kholadi Tlabela to pursue a career in tourism research. Dr Tlabela, who holds a PhD in Tourism Management from the University of Pretoria, says her career has exposed her to new ideas, perspectives and knowledge. She hopes to marry her passion for research, knowledge and skillset to contribute to youth empowerment and create a pipeline for unemployed youth and young researches. “I aspire to see poverty, crime and unemployment being addressed, especially youth unemployment,” she says.

Read more about her journey.


Gregory Paulse

University of Pretoria (UP) alumnus and Group Manager of Internal Audit at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Gregory Paulse, has been practising as an internal auditor for more than two decades in both private and public sector. He has occupied various roles, including that of Chief Audit Executive (CAE) – an apex position in the auditing field. He finds his chosen path fulfilling, as he gets to be part of the problem-solving efforts that improve operational efficiency and effectiveness. One of his long-term goals is “to make a meaningful contribution to the reform of governance in the public sector in South Africa, which will hopefully assist in an improvement in the achievement of clean audits and the alleviation of corruption”, says Paulse, a UP MPhil Internal Auditing graduate.

Read more about his career, how he overcame his life challenges and his aspirations for Africa.


Dr Vicky Knoetze

The old adage, ‘tough times never last, but tough people do’, has proved to be true for UP alumna Dr Vicky Knoetze, who endured hardships in the first year of her PhD, juggling academics and work as a Democratic Alliance politician during the 2019 national and provincial elections. Although a demanding period in her life, she withered the storm with great success.

“The year 2019 proved to me that there is nothing I cannot do and there is nothing too difficult for me to handle. It taught me a lot about myself, showcased my resilience and capabilities,” she says.

Read more about her love for her career and what fuels her.


Dr Laeticia Jacobs

Working in the public sector is not a career, but a “calling to serve the people of South Africa”, says Dr Laeticia Jacobs, who is passionate about South Africa’s tourism sector and transforming it into a thriving sector that steers economic development in the country. “My dream is to continue making a greater impact in society and contribute to transformation in the tourism industry,” emphasises Dr Jacobs, who graduated with a PhD in Tourism Management from the Faculty of Economic and Management. Read more about her career highlights, aspirations and how UP contributed towards her development.

Ayrton Amaral
The ‘thrill’ experienced when overcoming the many challenges life throws our way, has always and continues to motivate esteemed alumnus Ayrton Amaral. Currently studying for his Master’s degree in Economics at the University of Amsterdam, he sets his sights on returning to South Africa where he wants to use his skills to form part of the machine working on getting the country back on the right path. “South Africa has great potential, and it is everyone's responsibility to ensure that it realises this potential and stays on the correct course,” he stresses. Among other things, read more about his studies, his career, his role model and his ‘golden guideline’.
Tina Mabugu
“The importance of putting growth, sustainability and justice at the forefront of South African targets and policies is pivotal to overcoming some of the devastating effects that COVID-19 has had thus far,” stresses alumna Tina Mabugu. Following her formal education, she intends pursuing activities that she believes “will contribute to sustainable development and hence, the betterment of others, particularly those who are most vulnerable”. Read more about her studies, the high regard for her lecturers and professional goals.
Yota Baron
A BCom in Accounting and Auditing from UP opened the door for esteemed alumna Yota Baron to claim her stake in the motor industry. Seizing every possible opportunity over the past 31 years, she did precisely this. Not only did she hold a range of leadership positions at the Ford Motor Company, she also made her mark on several international service assignments. Currently, she is settling into her role as CFO of Ford South Africa, where she hopes “to work with the team to further Ford’s success in the market”. Read more about her sterling career, her advice to current students and her source of inspiration.
Dr Innocent Sirovha
It is fair to say that nobody can teach esteemed alumnus, Dr Innocent Sirovha, anything about perseverance. Having had to repeat grade 12 no fewer than three times, he went on to reach the pinnacle of academic success when he obtained his PhD in 2018 at the Faculty’s School of Public Management and Administration, proving that he has the “power to overcome anything”. Appointed as Municipal Manager and CEO of the Agricultural Sector Education and Training Authority (AgriSETA) in December 2020, his priority is to lead the organisation to excellence and a clean audit, something it is has never achieved before, and helping small scale farmers to become commercial farmers. Read more.
Dr Muriel Serfontein-Jordaan
Collectively, and only collectively, will South Africa be able to turn the current dire economic situation in the country around, Dr Muriel Serfontein-Jordaan, alumna and UP lecturer, believes. “The responsibility does not rest with one centralised institution or entity, but instead with each individual South African, by keeping true to the spirit of Ubuntu – I am because [we] are,” she stresses. Read more about this esteemed alumna’s sterling academic career, her advice for current students, her source of inspiration and her future goals.
Bonné de Bod
Esteemed alumna and filmmaker, Bonné de Bod, must rank as one of South Africa’s most dedicated and passionate nature conservationists. Her heart-wrenching documentary film, STROOP – journey into the rhino horn war, which garnered over 30 national and international awards – attests to this. Several other awards recognising her filmmaking skills, also came her way, one being a nomination, alongside Dame Judi Dench, for ‘Best on-camera Host’ at the Jackson Wild Media Awards, known as the nature equivalent of the ‘Oscars’. Her life’s journey since graduating from UP with a BCom in Industrial Psychology is truly remarkable…read more.
Prof Roula Inglesi-Lotz
Since completing her PhD in Economics at UP in 2011, Prof Roula Inglesi-Lotz has garnered one academic distinction and award after the other. As co-chair for 2021/22 of the prestigious Global Young Academy (GYA), she is excited to promote and encourage efforts of science communication and policy advice internationally. Yet it is her mission as a mother of two young children, as well as lecturer, that is perhaps dearest to her heart. “My motherly instincts extend to the students and youth of today, so working towards providing platforms and tools for them to grow personally and academically makes me feel inspired – and when I see my students graduating…that motivates me further,” she enthuses. Read more about this dynamic alumna’s phenomenal academic achievements, outside interests and future goals.
Russell du Preez
Where there is a will, there is a way. Esteemed alumnus, Russell du Preez (52), founder and chairman of investment house RussellStone Group and owner of the popular Pretoria eatery, Varsity Bakery, clearly demonstrated this when he recently graduated with a Master’s degree in Agricultural Economics during the University of Pretoria’s (UP) autumn 2021 graduation session. Despite being dyslectic, he not only persevered with his studies; he also achieved remarkable success as an entrepreneur. Read more about his inspiring life’s journey and future goals below.
Dr Evelyn Thsehla
“South Africa can do more to support small businesses. As a country, we must give small businesses space to trade. We cannot complain about unemployment rates in the country whilst chasing small businesses away from economic hubs,” stresses Dr Evelyn Thsehla. Having recently obtained her PhD in Economics, she is all set to re-join academia to contribute towards building capacity in the area of health economics by mentoring young professionals like her who are entering this field. Read more about her career, her hopes and her aspirations.
Dr Xolani Sibande
“For any organisation, it is essential to have the best possible skills to exploit value from opportunities. In South Africa, unfortunately, skills are not always valued and this may, in part, explain its struggle with achieving sustainable long-term economic growth. It is, however, proven that human capital is essential for economic growth. This makes institutions such as UP invaluable,” stresses Dr Xolani Sibande, who obtained his PhD in Economics from UP in 2020. Firmly believing that learning is a privilege and an opportunity to change oneself and your life, Dr Sibande has done just that to reach the pinnacle of academic and professional success. As an economist, he had made, and continues to make, a contribution to macroeconomic analysis and public policymaking in South Africa. Read more about his career, his advice to current students and his future goals.
Prof Retha Wiesner
Internationally acknowledged for conducting capacity-building projects to empower individuals through Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Business Sustainability, alumna Retha Wiesner, Professor of Human Resource Management and Entrepreneurial Behaviour at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) in Australia, has made a massive contribution to small business sustainability and entrepreneurial behaviour development. Currently leading a major research and capacity building programme on advancing women through entrepreneurship, her goal is to keep connecting with her true purpose of “helping others grow in their lives and businesses and to create a legacy through personal dedication, hard work and meaningful contribution”. Read more about her sterling career, the source of inspiration in her life, her hopes and her advice for current students.
Dr Marius Koen
Been there, done that…got the T-shirt. This, in casual terms, sums up the sterling career of esteemed alumnus, Dr Marius Koen. After having completed his practical training at a South African auditing firm, he joined UP as lecturer and professor where he served for nearly two decades while also gaining further experience as a consultant in many capacities. He reached the pinnacle of his career at the World Bank - an appointment that took him all over the world. Join him on his remarkable career and life’s journey…
Michelle D
Whether it is in the “world of pretty things” or in the academic field, alumna Michelle D is driven to achieve success. Working in tandem as a part-time lecturer at UP and as an entrepreneur, she has done just that. With her sights now firmly set on attaining her PhD, and her Macaroon Collection a run-away fashion hit, expect more fireworks from this dynamic business owner, soon. Read more about her achievements, hopes and dreams below.

Dr Jessika Bohlmann

The key to successful tertiary studies is to treat them as a full-time job and to use the entire support system available – professors, mentors, tutors, fellow students, friends and family. This is esteemed alumna, Dr Jessika Bohlmann’s advice for current students. And this is precisely what she did throughout her under- and post-graduate studies – which spanned no fewer than three continents. Now she is all set to start a postdoctoral position at UP. “This will allow me to finalise some of the research I started during my PhD studies and will set the foundation for me to pursue a career in academia and also give me some exposure in the consultancy world.” Join her on her interesting journey from Caracas, Venezuela, to Melbourne, Australia and finally – for now – Pretoria.

Samkelo Janda
Not only did his studies at UP provide him with a broad view on matters of governance and processes that are involved in the running of the state, it also exposed him to the intricacies of government by delving deeper into the evolution of public administration as a function, says alumnus Samkelo Janda who has made his mark as councillor and Executive Mayor in local and municipal administration. It therefore comes as no surprise that his goal is to pursue lecturing at academic institutions and impart knowledge to upcoming civil servants and in-service training to current civil servants in order to assist in building ethical, responsive and responsible civil servants. Read more about his studies, his remarkable career, and his hopes and aspirations for South Africa.
Prof Umar Kakumba
His PhD studies at UP greatly assisted him to reach the pinnacle of formal academic achievement. Currently serving as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic Affairs) and Professor of Public Sector Management, with speciality in Leadership, Human Resource Strategy and Public Policy Management, at Makerere University, Uganda, esteemed EMS alumnus, Prof Umar Kakumba, is now set to make his mark in establishing effective leadership and governance systems that offer public sector career mentorship and a strong employee value proposition. Read more about his sterling academic career, his professional goals and his hopes and aspirations for the African continent.
Teddy Ceke
“We want a better life for all South Africans; we want to realise social cohesion and harmony. To this end, South Africa needs real leadership to lead us to the future we want to see. We want to see economic development that ensures South Africans a good quality of life, we want to see rural development, we want to see poverty eradicated, we want to deal decisively with inequality, we want a nation at work through job creation and an economy that is able to absorb the labour capacity of this country.” This is the future that alumnus, Teddy Ceke, envisages for South Africa. Read more about his illustrious career as a civil servant, his advice to current students and his sources of inspiration.
Dr Andries Terblanche
“An academic qualification puts one in a position of responsibility: A responsibility to advance the field of your study and to use it to improve the fate of society and better the destiny of our planet.” This advice of esteemed alumnus, Dr Andries Terblanche, for current students, also drives and motivates him personally, paving the way to the pinnacle of success in his impressive career. Not only was he invited to speak at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January 2020, but in November last year his mathematical risk model, which has been rolled out to 21 countries since 2016, won the CIR Risk Magazine ESG Innovation of the Year Prize in Geneva, Switzerland. Read more about his impressive academic achievements, his most-admired mentors and his future goals.
Dr Unathi Mphendu
“The long-term consequences of corrupt activities can be dire and jeopardise the life of innocent and ordinary employees of the business…Those involved in corrupt activities should be severely punished. This will ensure that our limited resources are fully utilised to implement developmental programmes that can improve the lives of South Africans. I trust that we are united in this goal.” Responsible for supporting the implementation of ethics and anti-corruption programmes within the Gauteng City Region, it is Dr Unathi Mphendu’s esteemed alumnus wish for South Africa. Read more about his school and university studies, career fighting corruption in the frontline including personal and professional goals.
Dr Sansia Blackmore
Inspired by leaders who have the power to serve the common good, and actually do, it comes as no surprise that alumna, Dr Sansia Blackmore, would like to meet New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern. “She not only embodies intelligent leadership, but more importantly, the empathetic kind of leadership that may unite and advance any society. Alas, modern politics tells of many democratically elected leaders who paradoxically do not prioritise societal interests. Our own democratic experience, but other countries' as well, notably the US', drove home that democratic constitutions and institutions are not an adequate bulwark against self-interested political leadership; individual leaders matter importantly,” she stresses. Read more about her sterling academic career at UP, her source of inspiration and future goals.
Dr Felix Oppong
Following the recent completion of his PhD programme, alumnus and economist, Dr Felix Oppong, sets his sights at disseminating his work and building a stronger network of experts for the purpose of knowledge sharing. “My plan includes contributing to capacity building on the African continent in the area of tax policy. In the short term, I intend to publish my papers. I used innovative techniques to derive data and to run my models. These models could be replicated for the benefit of many countries and to guide policy decision making. I look forward to sharing my knowledge widely for the benefit of others,” he points out. Read more about his work at the Evaluation Group of the World Bank, his advice to PhD students and thoughts on the impact of COVID-19 on international trade, among other things.
Dr Stephen Moyo
Inspired by people who dedicate their time and effort to make the world a better place, Dr Stephen Moyo, who earlier this year obtained his PhD at UP, is motivated by his own potential to contribute towards finding solutions for improving and bringing a positive change in the lives of communities in his home country, Zimbabwe. With regard to the latter, he would dearly like to meet with the SA business leader and mining magnate, Patrice Motsepe, to discuss potential solutions for changing the lives of communities in Africa. Among other things, read more about his illustrious career, his favourite reading matter and future goals.

Dr Jade Verbeek

“Soak up and take in every learning opportunity presented to you during your time as a student at UP. Sometimes, in the midst of an experience, you do not always get to see its value, but I promise you, once you leave university and you find yourself in various business and even social settings, you will realise just how valuable all your experiences at university have been and how they have equipped you for those situations.”  This is the advice of Dr Jade Verbeek, who certainly practised what she preaches. Read more about what she has achieved, careerwise, in a relatively short span of time, her future plans and what inspires and motivates her...

Dr Yuxiang Ye
While COVID-19 has had significant negative impacts on globalisation and international trade, Dr Yuxiang Ye, who recently obtained her PhD at UP, believes “opportunities always come together with challenges”. She is looking forward to finding her niche in the energy economics area, creating her own business in this field. Read more about her studies at UP, her favourite publication and scientists she admires...
Dr Mpinda Mvita
“Being a student can be a complex, frustrating and time-consuming exercise. However, with the right preparation, some sound advice, and a thorough understanding of the task at hand, your years as a UP student can be some of the most rewarding of your life. You must learn to embrace challenges rather than avoid them. You must choose to see challenges as fun opportunities to learn and grow. Occasional failure is part of the process and no reason to quit.” Having heeded his own advice during his years as a student at UP, Dr Mpinda Mvita not only obtained two master’s degrees, he was recently also awarded his PhD in Financial Management Sciences. While this may be considered the pinnacle of success, going forward, he has several more goals. Read more about his career, his favourite reading matter and the person he most admires…
Dr Kiruben Naicker
“COVID-19 is just the tip of the iceberg. The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has revealed that 1.7 million viruses are on their way with even more devastating impacts on humanity projected. More collaboration locally, regionally and internationally is needed to improve the evidence base that would support decision making globally and in the areas of conservation and protection of biodiversity as well as the sustainable use of nature, which will affect international trade and economies alike,” cautions Dr Kiruben Naicker, highly acclaimed for his long-standing strategic role in the Biodiversity sector for the SA Government. Despite everything he has achieved thus far in his illustrious career, going forward he hopes to play an even bigger role, internationally. His life’s journey makes for stimulating reading
Dr Tinashe Mushayanyama
An advocate of public sector reform, Dr Tinashe Mushayanyama, Director of Policy Planning and Research at the City of Johannesburg, firmly believes the public sector, as a profession, needs to be professionalised. “We always think of the public sector as a safe haven for employment and many don’t bother about delivering on its objects. Thus, the culture needs to change,” he stresses. Another area that he strongly believes requires special attention, concerns policy research and implementation. “Our public sector is marred by policies that are not cohesive and responsive in solving community problems on the ground.” Going forward, Dr Mushayanyama plans to spend much time on these two areas... and hopefully eventually venture into the academic world. Read more about his career, his advice to current PhD students and sources of inspiration.
Wouter de Vos
Joining Investec early in his career was not only his ‘lucky break’; the years he spent in the vibrant, energetic, performance-driven environment of the bank moulded him for business, believes alumnus Wouter de Vos. He has since made his mark running the Atterbury Property Fund for five years before returning to the Real Estate Private Equity space to set up his own boutique real estate investment and advisory business, de Vos Capital. Now he is setting his sights on expanding this business in Europe. Read more about his career, his goals and other interests…
Niel Schoombee
For many years, the talented singer/songwriter, alumnus Niel Schoombee, ‘lived’ his passion in the entertainment industry. Besides creating the highly acclaimed 5-person male vocal group, Hi-5, he gained numerous prestigious awards, in SA and abroad. He wrote over 700 songs for many multi-platinum selling artists for which he received various Ghoema and SAMA nominations over the years and finally won the Songwriter of the Year title in 2019. Many of his songs were translated into Dutch and were released in Europe where he was also privileged to enjoy platinum-selling success. Currently living in Brisbane, Australia, his new position as co-owner and director of Starexpress Cleaning & Property Services, has taken him completely out of his ‘comfort zone’. He nevertheless sees this as a huge new growth opportunity. Join him on his exhilarating ‘global’ journey…
Prof Nasima Carrim
Credited with a long list of notable achievements, Prof Nasima Carrim is a role model in every respect: Apart from her newly appointed role as Exco member of the Society of Industrial and Organisational Psychology of South Africa (SIOPSA), Prof Carrim is part of a team of conveners for a future Gender, Work and Organisation (GDO) conference. She is also a member of the Gender, Diversity and Organisation (GDO) Division of the Academy of Management (AOM) since 2010. She has been a Global Ambassador in the GDO Division for the past five years. Prof Carrim is currently a mentor for international mentees for the Division, where she provides guidance to new members on how to compile high-impact articles. In addition, she has been a section editor for the South African Journal of Industrial Psychology for a number of years. Recently, Prof Carrim also co-edited the first diversity textbook in South Africa, titled Managing Diversity in the South African Workplace …the list goes on. Yet, it is in uplifting people in need, the underdogs, that she finds her greatest reward. Read more about her illustrious career, her sound advice to current students and her future goals.
Lucinda Neethling
She is not only a well-known singer who released her brand new, catchy single, Weerloos, to much acclaim a couple of months ago, but as a talented visual artist specialising in ballpoint pen art, Lucinda Neethling continues to catch the eye. On top of this, she also produced her first advertisement earlier this year and thoroughly enjoys being a Basi-qualified Pilates instructor. Attributing much of her success to her entrepreneurial studies at UP, she is all set to take her career as an artist to the next level. Read more about her achievements, ‘golden guideline’ and career goals below.
Anton Post
Blessed with entrepreneurial flair, coupled with a knack for launching, promoting and running successful exhibition centres, trade fairs, and lately also a group of exclusive lodges in sub-Saharan Africa as MD, alumnus Anton Post has certainly made his mark in the hospitality and tourism industry. Following his retirement in a year’s time, he would like to stay involved in tourism in some way or another and continue to add value. But first, he and his wife plan to go on their dream expedition. Join him on his life’s journey…
Prof Carolina Koornhof 
The double honours bestowed on former EMS dean, Prof Carolina Koornhof - a CEO Country Lifetime Achiever Award at Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government Awards ceremony in 2014 for her contribution to Higher Education, and an Honorary Golden Key award in 2018 in recognition of her contribution to Education - could hardly be more fitting. Read more
Dr Cila Myburgh
To be part of a system that ensures access to quality education for all, is alumna Dr Cila Myburgh’s fervent wish. “Living in a country of extreme inequality in terms of access to quality education – from young to old – makes this goal very real for me and personally drives me to wanting to be part of a solution working towards inclusive, equitable and quality education for all.” Read more about her career, her advice for current students and other interests.
Russell Loubser
Mathematically gifted alumnus Russell Loubser was fortunate to study “almost exactly” the disciplines that he both enjoyed and needed in his career… and to this day still enjoys. This, in no small measure, contributed to the business success of the former JSE CEO and former council member of the University of Pretoria, who also served as a valuable EMS Faculty Advisory Board member for more than 10 years. Join him on his journey from his student days to the present day where he plays a valuable role in a non-executive capacity at the First Rand Group. Read more
Dr Martha Mushunje
From her studies, Dr Martha Mushunje has learnt valuable lessons on the importance of perseverance and dedication in all spheres of life. “Our backgrounds do not shape our destiny; through perseverance and dedication you can achieve anything,” she reckons. Along with 15 other candidates, she was awarded her PhD during the virtual graduation ceremony on 15 April. Read more about her career, the fulfilment of her current job and future plans below…
Dr Mgwebi Msiya
“The universe is full of diverse opinions and ideas and it is always important to be open to such divergences. Studying for a PhD has taught me the significance of embracing and understanding that scholars will always view each concept from different perspectives to mine, so I must always respect such diversity of ideas,” says Dr Mgwebi Msiya, Eastern Cape Liquor Board spokesperson. Along with 15 other candidates, he was awarded his PhD at the virtual graduation ceremony on 15 April and is all set to contribute substantially to the research needs of his organisation. Read more about his PhD, his career and future plans below.
David and Jonathan Sher
It comes as no surprise that the dynamic paper and plastics manufacturer, Universal Paper and Plastics (UPP), celebrated its 70th anniversary in style with a ‘roaring 20s’-themed party earlier this year. Starting out as a small family business, it has grown into a 455 employee-strong enterprise over the years, guided by the same entrepreneurial spirit. “While 70 may be a lifetime, at heart and at an operational level, the company remains forever young and vibrant, striving towards innovation every single day to satisfy the needs of our customers,” stress UP alumni and brothers, Jonathan and David Sher, joint MDs of the Universal Paper Group who are proud to continue in the footsteps of their father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Read more about their interesting journey - from their student years at EMS to their current position as joint MDs.
Olga Granova-Mooi 
Alumna Olga Granova-Mooi places much emphasis on working hard to improve accountability and corporate governance in the higher education sector. A sense of natural justice and fairness is equally important in her life, the current Head of the Unit for Internal Audit at UP, points out. A set of undergraduate degrees, an Honours and a Master’s degree and a determination to make a difference for the better, led to an exciting career path, both locally and abroad. Read more about her journey from a first-year student to the present day.
Nico Theron
Studying at UP contributed to his successful career as a tax law specialist “to the fullest extent imaginable”, stresses alumnus Nico Theron. “If it were not for my studies at the University of Pretoria, I would not have had access to the fantastic lecturers who imparted not only their knowledge to me, but more importantly, their passion for the subjects they taught. It is a passion for tax law that has driven me over the full extent of my career to achieve more. This continues to drive me every day.” Read more about his career, goals and interests.
Dr Philip McLachlan
“For me, life is all about learning. You can never learn enough - there is always something new to discover, to explore and to understand. Learning is all about being involved, asking the difficult but crucial questions and being open to being taught by people and experiences, as well as through failures!” says Dr Philip McLachlan, strategy analyst at  TasNetworks in Hobart, Australia. Read more about his career, goals and the most rewarding aspects of his current position.
Dr Roshelle Ramfol
Fine-tuning the skill of “finding opportunity in adversity”, has taught Dr Roshelle Ramfol that you have the power to change your paradigm. “Every setback holds a lesson and by focusing on the opportunity, you can pivot towards a new outcome that can potentially surpass what you originally conceived.” A Senior Lecturer in Taxation at the University of South Africa, Dr Ramfol specialises in designing fiscal policy for extractive industries and the transition to renewable energy. Read more about her thoughts on the value of a PhD, the rewarding aspects of her job and her personal and career goals on the road ahead.
Dr Ron Josias
“A first degree gives you a foot in the door, a master’s degree commands the attention of others when you speak, a PhD is far more personal. It addresses self- actualisation. It forces you to address the question: ‘What is my contribution to the world, to my community and to my profession?’,” says Dr Ron Josias. Along with 15 other candidates, he was awarded his PhD on 15 April 2020 during the virtual UP graduation ceremony. Read more about his thoughts on the economy post-COVID, his long and fruitful career at The South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) and his future plans. 
Dr Johan Michael Smith
“The coronavirus has brought everything, including the economy, to an abrupt halt, and it will take time to recover from such a shock…Most small businesses will battle to stay afloat, and their owners should now urgently look at how they can re-imagine their business models,” stresses Dr Johan Michael Smith, whose doctoral thesis addressed the very issue of entrepreneurial behaviour. Read more about his studies, his ‘golden guideline’ and thoughts on entrepreneurship.
Dr Danita van Heerden
Throughout her PhD journey, Dr Danita van Heerden has learnt that it can be dangerous to overthink things. “When you overthink, it is difficult to take action. Without action, you cannot move forward. Sometimes, taking action also means that you will make mistakes, but what matters is that you learn from your mistakes and move on,” she stresses. Read more about her topical PhD thesis, the most rewarding aspects of her current job, and her career and personal goals.
Dr Sipho Makgopa
If ever somebody has proven that nothing is impossible, it is Dr Sipho Makgopa. Growing up in a dusty town in rural Limpopo and starting his career as a mini-bus driver transporting kids to day care, he went on to become a lecturer, then senior lecturer, and Curriculum and Learning Development Specialist only a few years later. On 15 April 2020, he was awarded a PhD during a virtual graduation ceremony at UP. Read more about the most rewarding aspects of his current job, his future plans and thoughts on the economy post-COVID-19.
Dr Sonnette Smith
The current COVID-19 lockdown is not only doom and gloom. Since Dr Sonnette Smith recently moved to Cape Town to fill a position as a contract accounting lecturer, she has thoroughly enjoyed being able to help her new colleagues during lockdown with implementing effective online teaching and learning on BlackBoard. “My experiences at the Department of Accounting at UP in this regard have greatly assisted me,” she stresses. Along with 15 other candidates, she was awarded a PhD at the virtual UP graduation ceremony on 15 April 2020. Read more about her career, aspirations and thoughts on linguistic barriers in accounting.
Dr Abdallah Ali-Nakyea
To have a PhD is the ‘icing on the cake’ for Dr Abdallah Ali-Nakyea who, along with 15 other candidates, achieved this academic milestone at the virtual graduation ceremony in April. “With all the qualifications (both academic and professional), expertise and experience I have gained over 28 years in various disciplines of finance, accounting, economics, taxation and law, a PhD has enabled me to document an aspect of my multidisciplinary make-up to contribute to knowledge,” he points out. Read more about his studies, career and experience at UP below.
Dr Adél Bosch
“The PhD process gives you the confidence to take on any task, no matter how big and to persevere and get it done. It teaches you how to break largescale problems into smaller pieces. This in turn assists in making better decisions at work and provides more provoking thoughts on topics,” reckons Dr Adél Bosch, one of 16 candidates who recently received PhDs from UP at the virtual graduation ceremony on 15 April 2020. Read more
Dr Likeleli Letsie
The importance of time, and managing it, was one of the most important lessons Dr Likeleli Letsie learnt during her studies at the University of Pretoria. Along with 15 other candidates, she was awarded her doctorate (in Informatics) during the virtual graduation ceremony in April 2020. “UP strives for the best and this is visible in the way academics are treated. The incorporation of industry talks and lectures in classes helps to bring the outside world into the classroom,” she argues. Read more about her career, aspirations and thoughts on the economy post-COVID-19.
Dr Victor Ngobeni
Being involved in public policy and the shaping of the everyday lives of poor people, is the most rewarding aspect of his current position as Director: Water and Sanitation and COGTA (Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs), says Dr Victor Ngobeni. Along with 15 other PhD students, he was awarded his doctorate in Tax Policy at the virtual graduation ceremony in April 2020.  Read more about his career, the lessons he learnt at UP and his future plans...
Dr Francois Stofberg
During the virtual graduation ceremony at UP on 15 April 2020, 16 doctorates were conferred by the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences (EMS). In the coming weeks, these exceptional achievers will be profiled in a Q&A series. This week the spotlight is on Dr Francois Stofberg, Senior Economist for Efficient Group (EFG) and Head of Sales at Efficient Private Clients (EFPC). Read more
Regine le Roux
Firmly anchored in a robust, non-negotiable set of core values that drives decisions and actions, Reputation Matters consistently strives to be Africa’s go to reputation specialists, building resilient businesses that people want to do business with, says founder and MD Regine le Roux. Read more about her successful career, achievements and goals going forward.
Natasha Ashley
Despite achieving remarkable success in her career thus far, alumna Natasha Ashley has set her sights even higher, “never losing sight of who I am and what I believe in”. Read more about her achievements, passions and interests below.
UP Accounting graduates excel in SAICA CA qualifying exam
André van Staden (2), Adrian Rathbone (3), André Meyer (6), Christine Butters (7), Janalee Moyle (8), Sumaiya Jeewa and Suzanne Bell (joint 9) were among the top ten achievers in the January 2020 Initial Test of Competence (ITC) of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). Read more about their illustrious academic achievements and mentors as well as about the inspiring people who played an important role in shaping their lives and careers. 
Pierre Viljoen
Having the right people around you in any business venture, helps in no small measure to secure a firm foundation for success, believes alumnus Pierre Viljoen. This has proven all too true in each one of his three enterprises…and to this day he cherishes the camaraderie and friendship of his former business partners, school and university friends. Read more about his studies, career and successes below.
Roelof Lategan
Where will the earth and technology be in 100 years? How will we change conditions on this planet? How will we make sure it survives the relentless destruction of natural resources? How will we sustain life, food, water in the face of an ever-growing population? These are some of the questions alumnus Roelof Lategan would like to discuss with Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk. Read more about his thoughts of, and quest in life.
Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi
In an ever-changing world, people need to prepare themselves to embark on different careers as they grow older. This absolutely necessitates continuous study and upskilling, believes the former Minister of Public Service and Administration, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, who considers herself a living example of lifelong learning. Read more
Tatjana Schoenmaker
Passion. Discipline. Timing. These qualities largely contribute to a firm foundation for a successful career reckons world swimming champion and Tuks Sportswoman of the Year, Tatjana Schoenmaker, who is all set to make her mark at the Olympic Games. Read more about her achievements and ambitions below.
Waseem Carrim
Passionate about the opportunities South Africa’s youth hold for this country, Waseem Carrim would love to see Government and the Presidency achieve its National Development Plan 2030 goals. Read more about his career, achievements and crucial role as CEO of the National Youth Development Agency.
Francis Wilkinson
The foundation of any successful business is the right people. “Once you have attracted the right ones, you need to invest heavily in their development,” stresses alumnus Francis ‘Frank’ Wilkinson, currently operational consultant in the UK whose ultimate dream is to build a consultancy of his own that specialises in cultural and behavioural change. Francis holds a BCom (Human Resources Management) degree from UP. Read more
Emma Mashilo
With the right mindset and the right amount of determination, you can achieve any goal you set yourself, reckons alumna and trainee planner, Emma Mashilo. She believes her studies at the University of Pretoria laid a firm foundation for her future plans and ventures. She believes her studies for a BCom in Supply Chain Management and an honours degree in Business Management at the University of Pretoria laid a firm foundation for her future plans and ventures. Read more 
Henk Deist
Atterbury Europe CEO, Henk Deist, firmly believes his studies at the University of  Pretoria (UP) were the starting point of a successful career. “Nothing would have been possible without that. I still believe CA(SA) is an excellent qualification to have in any business type of career, and UP remains a good producer of candidates for this qualification.” Read more
Phumzile Langeni
Bringing about a more just and equitable society in South Africa is one of the goals alumna Phumzile Langeni has set herself. Read more here about her career, highlights and ‘golden guidelines’. 

Noelani King Conradie 

A passion for excellence has consistently been a major driving force in the life of King Conradie. This not only inspired her to achieve top marks at the University of Pretoria, with distinctions for both her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees; it has set her company, NKC African Economics, apart as a leader in the global arena. Read more

Please visit www.up.ac.za/ems-alumni for details on how EMS alumni can stay in touch with the Faculty.


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