Our Trustees | WWF South Africa


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Our Trustees

The Trust is made up of a Board of Trustees and a Management Committee.

The Trustees carry the fiduciary responsibility for the Trust; however they have delegated most of their other duties to the Management Committee, which also acts as a project approval mechanism.

Our Trustees include:




Dr Reuel Khoza
Chairman: Nedbank Group Ltd

Reuel is an advocate of a new management and leadership culture based on inclusively, Afrocentricity and Ubuntu. He is an exponent of African-led, globally competitive economics and industries and is a distinguished consultant and lecturer on diverse business topics.

Dr. Reuel Khoza is currently Chairman and major shareholder of Aka Capital (Pty) Limited, an investment holding and private equity company with investments in various industries. He is also the chairman of Nedbank Group Limited and Corobrik (Proprietary) Limited. He is a director of several companies in which Aka Capital is invested, including Nampak Limited and Old Mutual plc.

He is the author of Attuned Leadership and Let Africa Lead and is the co-author of The Power of Governance.

Reuel was the founding Chairman of the Nepad Business Foundation (NBF) from 2001 to August 2011. During his tenure as Chairman, he initiated the establishment of the African Leadership Development Programme, which is jointly run by the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) and the NBF. He is Fellow and President of the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa.

Reuel is a Visiting Professor at Rhodes Investec Business School, Rhodes University, former Professor Extraordinaire of the University of Stellenbosch Business School and Chancellor of the University of Limpopo, succeeding former president Nelson Mandela.

He has an Engineering Doctorate (Business)from the University of Warwick, UK ; Doctorate of Laws Honoris Causa from Rhodes University, South Africa, MA, Marketing Management from the University of Lancaster, UK; Honours in Psychology from the University of the North, now University of LImpopo, South Africa ; Programme for Management Development from Harvard Business School, USA, International Programme for Board Members IPBM from IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland.


Dr Morné du Plessis
CEO, WWF South Africa

Dr Morné du Plessis was appointed as CEO of WWF South Africa on 1 September 2007. Previously he was the Director of the Percy FitzPatrick Institute (PFIAO) at UCT. He has served as the Assistant Director of Biodiversity Research at the former Natal Parks Board and spent two years as a postdoctoral associate at the University of California at Berkeley.

He holds a BSc Agric from Stellenbosch University, South Africa, BSc Hons from Pretoria University, South Africa, PhD and an MBA from Cape Town University, South Africa.


Prof Brian Figaji
Director of Companies

Prof Brian Figaji was the Vice Chancellor of the Peninsula Technikon in Cape Town and retired at the end of 2004.

He has served as South Africa’s representative on the Executive Board at UNESCO (United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) from 2005 -2009.

He is a director of companies and serves on a variety of education-related trusts and NGOs. Before joining Peninsula Technikon in 1980 Prof Figaji spent ten years working as a consulting civil engineer and as a site agent for a large civil engineering construction company.

He also taught at a high school in Cape Town for a short while. Prof Figaji is a Fellow of the SA Institute of Civil Engineers, a Fellow of the SA Society for Professional Engineers, a Fellow of the Academy of Engineering and a member of the SA Academy of Science. He served two terms as a member of the Council on Higher Education (CHE). Prof Figaji is a graduate of the universities of the Western Cape, Cape Town, UNISA and Harvard. He has also been awarded honorary doctorates from the University of Coventry in the UK and California State University.


Prof Christian Chimimba
Professor of Zoology, University of Pretoria

Prof. Christian Chimimba is a lecturer in the Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria. His research interests include African small mammal evolutionary and biosystematics research focusing on rodents of medical, veterinary, economic, agricultural, and of biodiversity/conservation concern.


Ms Anne Mearns
Director, Wilger Veld & Youth Conservation Club

Anne Mearns has worked for more than 15 years to improve the environment of her community. In September 1982, she established Wilger Veld and Youth Conservation Clubs in approximately 50 schools throughout South Africa.

From 1982 to 1997, more than 6,000 children joined the Club whose membership has expanded to include branches in England and other countries in Africa. In 1989, she began a tree-planting project through which more than 5,300 trees have been planted to date. The same year, she contacted the Council of Benoni to rehabilitate the Bullfrog pan, which was filled with rubbish - at a cost of more than Rand 5 million. The pan is back to its normal status and she and the youth saved some 50,000 bullfrogs from tarred roads and put them back in wetlands.

In 1990, she organized a Wetland Symposium for councils in Gauteng Province, which was attended by some 300 people. In 1992, she began a community vegetable garden project in the townships. In 1996, Mearns wrote an environmental policy for the Greater Benoni City Council. In January 1997, she completed a management plan for two wetlands, and in April, she established the Greater Benoni Environmental Society.


Dr John Kani
Market Theatre Foundation

Bonisile John Kani was born on 30 August 1943 in New Brighton , Port Elizabeth . After matriculating at Newell High School , he worked with drama groups in the New Brighton area, performing in schools and community halls. In 1965 Kani joined the Serpent Players drama group, making contact with Athol Fugard. It was to be the start of a long friendship and a time in which both men would attain fame and face persecution for their political beliefs.

In 1974 he went on tour in the United States with Sizwe Banzi is Dead and The Island , and in New York achieved international recognition when he was awarded a Tony for best actor for his performances in both plays. He also conducted workshops in New York , Washington DC and Los Angeles during the tour.

In 1976 Kani toured Australia and worked with Aboriginal community groups in Perth , Sydney , Melbourne , Brisbane and Adelaide . On his return to South Africa he began to tour the rural areas with Sizwe Banzi is Dead and The Island , conducting drama groups wherever he went. He was later arrested and detained, then released after mass demonstrations. It marked the beginning of a painful relationship with the police.

In 1977 Kani became involved with Barney Simon and the new Market Theatre in Johannesburg , the beginning of a long association which involved not just theatrical work but social upliftment. In 1990, Kani and Simon established the Market Theatre Laboratory to provide training to young people who could not acquire theatrical skills because of a poor educational background.

In addition to winning the Tony ward, Kani has received a number of awards at different stages of his career, including a merit award in 1987 from the Southern Transvaal Chamber of Commerce for his contribution to the struggle for liberation through culture, an honorary doctorate from the University of Durban-Westville for his invaluable contribution to the development of arts and culture during the struggle for liberation, the “Hiroshima Award for Peace’ and the Tribute Magazine “Titan of the Century’ award.

Kani has been intimately involved, in one capacity or another, in the long cycle of Fugard plays which changed the face of South African theatre. He has appeared in various local and foreign films and through the medium of theatre he has contributed to the process that brought radical change to South Africa .


Thabani Jali
Group Executive, Governance and Compliance, Nedbank Group

Thabani Jali has over 20 years experience in the legal profession as an attorney, mediator, arbitrator and judge.

He joined Nedbank Group in October 2011 as the Group Executive responsible for Governance and Compliance. He is also responsible for ethics, sustainability and Nedbank Group Editorial and Language Services. He is a member of the Specialist Committee on Company Law (formed by the minister in terms of section 191 of the Companies Act).

Thabani was formerly executive chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers (Southern Africa), a Deputy Judge President of the High Court of South Africa (Natal Provincial Division) and a Judge of the Competition Appeal Court. He was also a partner in a commercial law firm and served as chairman of the Competition Commission Enquiry into Bank Charges and the National Payment System from 2006 to 2008.

He holds various degrees including a BA degree from Fort Hare, an LLB from Natal University, LLM from Tulane University, USA.


Lindy Rodwell van Hasselt
Founder, Lewis Foundation

Lindy Rodwell van Hasselt started her conservation career as a volunteer for the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) and this soon turned into a fulltime position. In 1994 Lindy was instrumental in forming the South African Crane Working Group of the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), a national body that coordinated regional crane conservation efforts. In 2002 Lindy was awarded a Rolex Award for Enterprise which enabled the programme to expand considerably.

She spent the first 14 years of her conservation career initiating and developing crane conservation programmes across sub-Saharan Africa. Lindy holds a BSc Zoology and a post-graduate teaching diploma from UCT.

In 2008 she started at the Lewis Foundation, a private foundation dedicated to funding conservation programmes. She drew on the opinions of intellectually athletic and innovative thinkers from which the issue of the lack of skilled capacity to manage and conserve South Africa’s astounding biodiversity arose.

Lindy serves as a Trustee of the Endangered Wildlife Trust and WWF South Africa and is the co-founder and a trustee of the Natures Valley Trust. Lindy also consults to the African Safari Lodge Foundation, holding the position of Education and Training Coordinator.

Lindy served as a Trustee on the Lewis Foundation Board for 3 years and resigned in 2011 to take up the role of Relationship Director. Her role is to engage with a broad range of stakeholders in the conservation arena to identify potential catalytic tipping point programmes for consideration by the Lewis Foundation Board.

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How the Green Trust is Funded


The Trust is funded through the Nedbank Green Affinity Programme, where clients who opt for the competitively positioned Nedbank Green Affinity bank, investment account or insurance policy, can contribute to the Trust at no cost.

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