Staff

NATIONAL OFFICE

Ramneek Ahluwalia - Country Director & Head

Dr Ramneek Ahluwalia is a Physician with an enormous clinical and allied health care management experience.  He obtained his MBChB following which he completed his post graduate training in Internal Medicine (DNB). He is a registered Medical Practitioner with the three National Medical Councils of India, Mauritius and South Africa. To augment his management experience, he has also completed his MBA with a gold medal from the University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business. He has recently defended his PhD in Public Health from South Africa giving his credibility a complete definition to his work in improving health systems and infrastructure, policy development and systems evaluation.

Dr Ahluwalia has a multi cultural work experience in four diverse countries: India, Germany, Mauritius and South Africa.  He has been heading various health programmes within the countries mentioned above, and has a diverse experience handling projects in both developed and developing countries. 

He also represents at his capacity as the head of the Higher education sector within the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) and serves on board of various governmental and nongovernmental strategic advisory groups. He has an elaborative experience working with donor funded organisations and co-ordinating Public-private partnerships. To name a few, he instrumentally developed South Africa’s Biggest Public Private partnership called “First Things First” which is a partnership between the South African Government Departments: Department of Health, Department of Higher Education & Training, 14 Pharmaceutical Companies, Global Funds-World bank, USAID/PEPFAR, CDC and the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) and talks to “First priority of Every South African to look after their Health”.

He at his own capacity also serves as a health expert on the South African Delegation for BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China & South Africa) Academic forum and is also nominated as a Technical expert for the writing task team for health Declaration of BRICS summit India 2012 signed by the head of states. 

His major strengths lies in fundraising, operational management, project executions and policy development accompanied by strong leadership skills towards critically high stake programmes both in terms of monetary and stakeholder partnerships. He has addressed as a key note speaker at many International & National Conferences, forums & symposiums across the world.  

E-Mail:heaidsa@usaf.ac.za                                                 Phone: 012 030 0602

Managa Pillay - Senior Manager: Curriculum Development & Research

Ms Pillay was appointed as Programme Manager: Curriculum Development with the HEAIDS Programme in November 2013 to specifically manage the Discretionary Grant awarded to HEAIDS through the National Skills Fund to capacitate and enable academics in the post schooling sector to integrate HIV and AIDS into their respective curricular

Managa holds a Masters degree in Philosophy in HIV and AIDS Management from Stellenbosch University. She is a social worker by training who worked in the public sector for the Department of Social Development both in the capacities of Chief social worker, school social worker and regional probation officer for a period of 10 years.

Managa joined the HEAIDS team for the first time in 2006 when she was asked to join the national office of the HEAIDS Programme as part of the technical team.

As a Programme Manager and Consultant Managa worked on the establishment of the HIV Unit at the merged institution of the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), as well as with the Health Economics AIDS Research Division at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal where she led a USAID funded support initiative to the National Department of Basic Education.

In a voluntary capacity Miss Pillay serve on the Board of the Leratong Hospice in Attridgeville since 2005 and has served in the capacity of the Chair of the Board for the past two years.

E-Mail:managa@usaf.ac.za                                                               Phone: 012 030 0622

 Brenda White - Project Manager: TVET Support

Ms Brenda White has been appointed HEAIDS: Project Manager for the First Things First (HIV/STI/TB) campaign in January 2013 to manage the FTF campus activations. Brenda joins HEAIDS from FPD with strong Project Management skills. She holds B Sc Ed and B Com Honours degrees from the University of Johannesburg (previously RAU) and certificates in Pastoral Narrative Therapy (UNISA) and Advanced Health Management Programme (2011, Yale University). She has written and presented on HIV/AIDS services, the role of traditional healers in HIV/AIDS referral, and early detection of HIV/AIDS in children. She was also the project manager of the annual report  on Community HIV Health/Social Services Mapping (2009-2011). The objective of the report is to provide an overview of the health and social HIV services rendered by organisations in the municipality and provide estimates of the amount of care that is actually needed. It is a gap analysis report, using GIS technology to map out existing coverage of services. The importance of this report is that it is conducted at a municipal level so responses and scale-up can target the unique needs of a community.

E-Mail:brenda@usaf.ac.za                                   Phone: 012 030 0612

 Alex Semba - Programme Manager: HEI Support

 Mr Alex Semba has extensive experience in project management. He holds a Master's Degree in Philosophy in HIV and AIDS Management from Stellenbosch University. Alex joined HEAIDS from the University of the Western Cape's HIV and AIDS programme where he was the Peer Eucation Coordinator. Prior to that Alex was a Peer Education Officer, Project Officer and Acting Head of Department at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology's HIV/AIDS Unit.

 E-Mail: alex@usaf.ac.za      Phone: 012 030 0620

 

Isaac Makore- Finance and Procurement Officer

Isaac Makore is the HEAIDS programme Finance and Procurement Officer. He graduated from the University of Zimbabwe with an Honours degree in Business Studies, majoring in Finance and Banking. He is currently completing his Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) programme. Isaac has 10 years accounting experience, with 5 years spent focusing on donor reporting at Inter Press Service (IPS) Africa where he headed the accounting department in ensuring clean audits and at the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN). During this time he focused mainly on USAID, SDC, Rockefeller, IDRC, DFID, GIZ grant reporting requirements.

Email: isaac@usaf.ac.za                                                     Phone: 012 030 0607

 

Zandile Mashaba- Communications and Events Officer

Ms Zandile Mashaba is the Higher Education and Training HIV/AIDS programme Communications &Events Officer.

Born in Johannesburg, she completed her undergraduate degree in B. A Communications from the University of Limpopo-Turfloop Campus, specializing in Corporate Communications, Public Relations and Marketing Communications.

 Zandile first started working in broadcast during her formative years at the University of Limpopo- Radio Turf, volunteering as a news reader, and talk show host. She went on to volunteer at Soweto TV as a Researcher and Television Producer for the  youth talk show Dlalangeringas –Sisters, a women’s talk show; “Mbokodo and the ‘Dr Love” show.  

She also holds a certificate in video production from the Deutsche Welle Academy and has also done post schooling training at the University of Pretoria in Professional Communications. Since then, she has worked at a number of corporate organizations as a Communications Officer

E-Mail: zandile@usaf.ac.za                                 Phone: 012 030 0604 

Miriam Behrendt - Technical Advisor: Media & Communications

Following a partnership between HEAIDS and the German International Cooperation (GIZ), Miriam Behrendt has been working as a Technical Advisor to the HEAIDS programme since July 2013. The German citizen holds a Master’s Degree in Journalism and Culture Studies from Leipzig University (Germany) and also studied as an exchange student at the Department of Journalism at Stellenbosch University (South Africa).

Before joining the HEAIDS team Miriam held the position of Media & Communications Manager at Drama for Life in Johannesburg.

She has broad experience in media, working as a freelance journalist and presenter for different radio stations, as well as managing social media and blogs at online publishing companies in Germany.

At VOW Fm at Wits University Miriam created and managed the weekly radio talk show Life.Beats that deals with issues of Social Justice, Human Rights, Social Transformation and HIV. The show was nominated as Best News and Actuality Show at the 2013 MTN Radio Awards.

At HEAIDS Miriam currently coordinates the FUTURE BEATS pilot project that explores the potential of creating HIV awareness through campus radio and social media.

E-Mail:miriam@usaf.ac.za                                         Phone: 012 030 0623

Bonita du Plessis - HEAIDS Future Beats Project Editor

The youngest employed in the Higher Education and Training HIV/AIDS programme, Ms Bonita du Plessis joined the HEAIDS family in February 2014 as the FUTURE BEATS Project Editor. She is now Managing Editor to the programme, ensuring quality of radio programming and managing the FUTURE BEATS Training and Social Media components.

Bonita, born in Pretoria, completed her undergraduate degree in BA Film and Media Production, specialising in Radio Production at the University of Cape Town in 2012. Thereafter, she completed her Honours in Journalism at the University of Pretoria in the following year. Bonita first started working in broadcast during her 1st year at UCT, volunteering as a bilingual news reader, talk show host and Talk Manager of the station for the next three years at UCT radio. Since then, she has completed radio broadcast internships at Jacaranda 94.2, Talk Radio 702 and Ballz Visual Radio.

During the pilot phase of the HEAIDS Youth Development and HIV Prevention campus radio and social media programme, she took part in exciting radio and journalism conferences, namely Power Reporting: The African Investigative Journalism Conference and JHB Radio Days. In September 2014, she travelled to Berlin to participate in the BMZ Africa – Continent of Opportunities. A Partnership for Change dialogue around policy-making to give young people a future by promoting education in Africa.

Bonita has enjoyed taking on the endeavour to collaborate the streams of broadcast journalism and media training within the public health sector.

E-Mail: bonita@usaf.ac.za                                         Phone: 012 030 0624

Lorinda Crous - Executive Personal Assistant to the Director

Lorinda has been in the office support environment since 1989 with extensive Personal Assistant and office management experience in the public and private sectors.  She has worked for the Department of Education, the Finance and Insurance Services (FAIS) Ombudsman, and the Pension Funds Adjudicator.

 

 

 

 

E-Mail: heaidsa@usaf.ac.za                                                            Phone: 012 030 0602 

Theodora Chauke - HEAIDS Programme Administrator

Theodora has been working with HEAIDS since 01 June 2007 as a Programme Administrator for the 2nd phase of the programme.

She has a degree in Management Services, an Office Management Certificate and a diploma in computer studies with Tshwane University of Technology.

To improve her writing skills Theodora also attended courses in business writing skills with College Campus.

At HEAIDS she is the Programme Administrator responsible for the coordination of events and meetings, procurement and administration.

E-Mail:theodora@usaf.ac.za                                             Phone: 012 030 0611

Zamaswazi Shabangu - HEAIDS Programme Administrator

Zamaswazi has been working for HEAIDS since June 2015. She is currently studying for a diploma in Office Management and Technology with UNISA. Her passions include working with the community and poverty alleviation.

Prior to HEAIDS she worked with Bushabezwe Aids and Charity Home in Mamelodi West as a programme Administrator

 

 

 

 

E-Mail:  heaids1@usaf.ac.za                                                        Phone: 012 030 0611

REGIONAL COORDINATORS

Christina Dzimiri- Regional Coordinator: Gauteng

Christina's work experience has revolved around HIV and AIDS programme management, education, counseling, testing, and care and support in institutions of higher learning and in communities. She was a Team Leader at Shout It Now, a Student Counsellor at PC Training and Business College, an Administrative Assistant with Zimbabwe Open University and an Peer Educator with Shape Zimbabwe Trust.

 She holds a Master of Social Science Degree in Development Studies obtained from the University of Pretoria, a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Zimbabwe, an Honors degree in Social Behavioural Aspects of HIV/AIDS and Health from UNISA, and a Higher Certificate in Management from the Foundation for Professional Development.  

E-Mail: christina@usaf.ac.za                                    Phone: 012 030 0614

Thokozani Hlomani- Nyawasha - Regional Coordinator: Kwa-Zulu Natal

Thokozani Hlomani- Nyawasha has been working with HEAIDS since August 2014. She holds a Masters Degree in Health Promotion from the University of KwaZulu Natal, a Social Work Degree from the University of Fort Hare and a certificate in Project Management from UNISA. Thokozani is passionate about issues related to adolescent and community health.

Prior to joining HEAIDS, Thokozani has worked with NACOSA as a Programme Officer and Zisize Educational Trust as a Social Worker. She has experience in mentoring and training Community Based Organisations on organisational Development as well as monitoring and evaluating HIV, OVC and Gender Based Violence programmes. She also serves as a reviewer for a number of journals.

Email: Thokozani@usaf.ac.za                                                 Phone: 031 266 2147

PROVINCIAL COORDINATORS

Marilize Olckers - Programme Coordinator: Gauteng

Marilize Olckers has been working with HEAIDS since  January 2014 as a Provincial Coordinator in Gauteng supporting the Global Fund TVET team

She has a Bpsych degree in Counselling Psychology, with Nelson Mandela Metropolitain University and is Registered with the HPCSA as a Registered Counsellor.

 

 

E-Mail: marilize@usaf.ac.za                                                    Phone: 012 030 0001

 Gail Roman - Programme Coordinator: Western Cape

Gail Roman graduated from University of the Western Cape with a Masters Degree in Womens and Gender studies.  The Exploration of the Experiences of Stigmatisation of Women living with HIV/Aids was the focus of her Masters Thesis. Most recently she worked as Community Mobiliser for The Cancer Association of South Africa where she also worked as Regional manager at the Cape Metro offices and Health Programmes Coordinator. She founded REACH OUT in 1995, a support structure offering counsel, training and support to the bereaved and grieving person. Gail has extensive experience as a grief and bereavement counselor working with women, children and youth.

 

 

E-Mail: gail@usaf.ac.za                                                           Phone: 021 959 3091

Ndileka Mbalo - Programme Coordinator: Eastern Cape

Ndileka has a postgraduate degree in Psychology from Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa, USA. She also completed a Higher Diploma in Education from the University of Fort Hare.


Ndileka also worked in the Higher education sector as a lecturer and researcher, as well as in public health as a programme coordinator and trainer. Her educational qualifications, work experience and general character have, over the years, enabled her to possess skills and attributes for successful programme coordination. 

 

E-Mail: ndileka@usaf.ac.za                                                 Phone:

Mawethu Zita- Programme Coordinator: Mpumalanga

Mawethu has more than ten years of experience in HIV prevention and youth development. He has just completed his Advanced Diploma in Project Management from Cranefield Private College.He is an experienced field worker on issues related to the youth infected and affected with HIV, youth with disabilities and LGBTI students.

He served as a Workshop Proposal Reviewer on Leadership and Accountability Development and Community Skills Development for International AIDS 2010-2014. He co-designed a survey tool for Restless Development formerly known as Student Partnership Worldwide to investigate the level of engagement of National AIDS Authorities to young people in SADC region in 2009. Mawethu has four years of voluntary experience participating in the National Focal Point in the year of 2008 and as Regional Focal Point for Southern Africa from 2009 -  2013 at Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS. Recently, he served as the Red Ribbon Awards Regional Chairperson for UNAIDS in the Eastern and Southern Africa.

E-Mail: mawethu@usaf.ac.za                                                     Phone: 012 030 0614

Xolelwa Constance Ngqele -Programme Coordinator: Gauteng

Xolelwa was born in Graaff – Reinet, Eastern Cape and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human and Societal Dynamics majoring in Psychology, from the University of the Free State. She also attained a NQF L5 certificate in SMME Development from UNISA. Xolelwa was previously employed by the Department of Social Development and the Small Enterprise Development Agency .

She also worked for the Eastcape Midlands TVET College an a Student Liaison Officer. Her entire work experiences have always involved youth development holistically in the HIV/AIDS and related framework.

 

 

E-Mail: xolelwa@usaf.ac.za                                                            Phone: 012 030 0616

Thandi Ntuli - Programme Coordinator: Limpopo & Northern Cape

Thandi has worked for LifeLine Southern Africa, providing peer education in schools and communities, and was a representative on the Greater Tubatse municipality's Local AIDS Council in the Greater Sekhukhune district. Thandi holds a BA Degree from the University of the North.

 

 

 

E-Mail: thandi@usaf.ac.za                                                        Phone: 015 263 6983

Gwynneth Makuwaza - Programme Coordinator: North West and Northern Cape

Gwynneth obtained her Master of Commerce Degree (Economics) from Rhodes University and has a Certificate in Higher Management from Foundation for Professional Development. She is passionate about project management and research in the context of influencing socio-economic policies in HIV/AIDS prevention targeted at the youth and other vulnerable communities.

Before joining HEAIDS she worked for Foundation for Professional Development coordinating, monitoring and evaluating the implementation of a Community Based HIV Testing and Counselling programme in Tshwane.  She has experience in project managing high level health conferences locally and internationally, and has worked in the banking and financial services sector. 

 

E-Mail: gwynneth@usaf.ac.za                                                                              Phone: 012 030 2017

Otto Tamela - Programme Coordinator: Eastern Cape

Otto Tamela obtained holds a BA degree (Psych and Sociology) from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and has a USAID Fellowship certificate from FPD as well as a  certificate of Competence for Out Come-based Assessment from Third Wave. She is currently studying towards a Masters degree in  Development Studies.

Otto was previously employed  as a Program Officer at Africare where her primary focus was to provide technical support and mentoring for the implementation of care and support to reduce HIV and AIDS morbidity and mortality as well as its socioeconomic impacts to people living with HIV, orphans and children made vulnerable due to HIV and AIDS in their families and community. Her work encompassed collaboration with a variety of  stakeholders and community structures in the promotion of community interventions and mobilization to increase knowledge on HIV/AIDS, TB and STI.

 

E-Mail: otto@usaf.ac.za                                                                             Phone: 043 709 4752

Siphesihle Ngubo - Programme Coordinator: Kwa-Zulu Natal

Siphesihle Ngubo has been working in the field of HIV/AIDS for the past 7 years working in clinical trials at CAPRISA and PHIVA.  She holds a BA degree majoring in Psychology and Sociology, Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling Psychology and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, all from the University of KwaZulu Natal. 

She is currently studying towards a Masters degree in Gender Studies.  Prior to joining HEAIDS Siphesihle worked for NACOSA as the MSM/LGBTI Programme Officer.  She has vast experience in mentoring and training as she worked for the Human Health Development Trust which focused on providing various trainings for Community Based Organization.

 

 

E-Mail: Siphesihle@usaf.ac.za                                                                              Phone: 031 266 0015

Oziel Mdletshe - Programme Coordinator: Kwa-Zulu Natal

Oziel Mdletshe has extensive experience working on HIV and AIDS field. He is also a former Health Promoter at Durban University of Technology for 13 years before he joined HEAIDS in 2016. Oziel holds a Project Management certificate from Durban university of Technology.

Oziel Mdletshe is a former Deputy Chairperson of CAPRISA Advisory Board for its community research support group. 2014 Oziel received an award of recognition by MN uBuntu Awards as a most inspirational & influential HIV positive activist who made a remarkable different in the fight against TB & HIV nationally. Oziel currently serves as chairperson for the MATCH Research Community Advisory Board (CAB).

 

E-Mail: oziel@usaf.ac.za                                                                         Phone: 031 266 0015

Veronica Mqwathi- Programme Coordinator: HEI Support

Veronica Mqwathi is the Programme Coordinator for the Universities support team responsible for the Eastern and Western Cape, Kwa Zulu Natal and Mpumalanga Provinces. She holds an honours degree in Drama therapy from the University of Witswatersrand and is currently completing her Masters in Drama therapy.She is a trainee drama therapist, facilitator, youth leader and a former radio personality with a passion to use her craft and life experience to educate and empower other young women.

She formerly servered as a Southern African Regional Focal Point member for the Pan African Youth Leaders Network of the United Nations in pursuit of the millenium development goals. Veronica has participated in advocacy projects such as Through Positive Eyes, the 5th SA AIDS Conference, the Youth Conference on HIV/AIDS in Mali, Bamako, the “Youth We Can” debate in Norway, Oslo, the 3rd World Mayors and African Leaders Summit in Colombia, Cali and the 4th Pan African Youth Leaders’ Summit, Dakar, Senegal. She has also worked as a Programme Facilitator for Soul City Institute, HIV/AIDS Community Awareness Programmes. Prior to that she worked for a Youth Programme, Zakheni Training and Development Centre as the Programme Facilitator,Facilitator/Trainer for Themba Interactive Theatre.

E-Mail: veronica@usaf.ac.za                                                            Phone: 012 030 0113

 Shibashiba Moabelo- Programme Coordinator: HEI Support

Shibashiba Moabelo is the universities support Programme Coordinator responsible for Universities in Limpopo, North West, Gauteng and Mpumalanga Province.

He graduated from the University of Limpopo- Turfloop Graduate School of leadership with a Master’s degree in Development. Shibashiba has over 8 years working experience in the field of HIV/AIDS working for the City of Tshwane and African Medical Research Foundation. His experience extends to project planning, implementation and evaluation for HIV/AIDS programme interventions.

 

 

E-Mail: shibashiba@usaf.ac.za                                                            Phone: 012 030 0113