The iTL manager Bulelwa Panda explains to the students how, where and why the Safe House started in Gugulethu, from Bulelwa’s bungalow to the building of the Safe House in 2006.
I am an ordained minister in the Methodist Church of Southern Africa (MCSA). I would consider myself an activist within the community and particularly within the landscape of the MCSA. My activism is at the intersection of gender justice, race and class and I seek to make the MCSA a more inclusive and nurturing environment for the LGBTIQ+ community and women. I am currently reading toward a PhD in Philosophy and Religion at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
I am married to Dr Nokukhanya Dube and we are proud (and sometimes exasperated) parents of a very lively seven year old.
Hanzline R. Davids is a Process Coordinator at Inclusive and Affirming Ministries (IAM), which catalyses faith communities to recognise and celebrate LGBTIQA+ people in Africa. At IAM, he works in the Faith Partnerships Programme in mainline denominations, universities, and seminaries, doing facilitation, research and resource development at the intersection of gender, sexuality and religion. Davids is a former reverend of the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa. He resigned in 2015 out of fear of being stigmatised and discriminated against as a gay man. Davids is also a doctoral candidate at Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Theology. He has authored and co-authored several articles and book chapters on religion, gender, sexuality, reproductive justice and LGBTIQ+ children in heteronormative families.
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Abby Haricombe joined IAM in 2018 as the organisation’s Administrator. She works, often behind the scenes, to keep IAM running smoothly. She started her humanitarian career at Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in 2013 as a fundraiser and enjoys working in the NGO sector as a way to contribute to a better society that focuses on inclusivity, diversity and uplifting the dignity of all human beings.
Greyson Vanguard Thela holds a BA in Governance and Political Transformation from the University of the Free State, recently completed his BA Hons research focused “Exploring transgender inclusivity in Higher Education”, and will be pursuing a Masters in Human Rights.
Greyson is the previous Head of the Gender and Sexual Equity Office at the University of the Free State and the National Advocacy Officer at Gender Dynamix. He has represented various organisations on the National Task Team for LGBTIQ, the Western Cape Provincial Task Team, the Basic Education Social Inclusion Working Group, the Hate Crimes Working Group, as well as the Free State Provincial Task Team.
Greyson joined IAM as the Intersectional Process Coordinator in December 2019.
Tashwill Esterhuizen, graduate from the University of Cape Town (UCT) and heads the LGBTI and Sex workers Rights Programme at the Southern Africa litigation Centre (SALC). He has been admitted as an attorney of the High Court of South Africa since 2011. In 2017, he was selected as a fellow for the Mandela Washington (MWF) for his work on LGBT rights in Africa. He has extensive experience in public interest and human rights litigation and advocacy in ten Southern Africa. Prior to SALC he was employed as a litigation attorney at the Socio-Economic Institute of South Africa (SERI), where he assisted communities and social movements through engaging with government and other organisations on their behalf on a range of socio-economic related issues and providing them with, inter alia, legal assistance.
He has done several guest lectures and participated in various panel discussion on issues affecting marginalised persons, including a conference at New York Law School on Twenty years of Democracy in South Africa, where he drafted and presented a paper on the South African Constitutional Court’s failure to engage (at times) with its transformative mandate. He also presented on Strategic Litigation in Southern Africa at the International, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Association (ILGA) World Conference in 2016. Most recently, in April 2018, he presented at New York University’s (NYU) Bernstein Institute for Human Rights Conference on, Reimagining Justice: Realizing Human Rights through Legal Empowerment, on the importance of ongoing capacity strengthening of lawyers, paralegals and community engagement and empowerment of human rights activists. His experience also includes advising the Office of the Provincial Police Commissioner in the Cape Town on police actions and human rights.
Marlow is a Social Science graduate with further education in Human Resource Management and Project Management. He is a seasoned human rights advocate and defender working tirelessly towards ending othering for gender and sexual minority groups. Marlow was the first pastoral leader at the Good Hope Metropolitan Community Church as well as the deputy director at Triangle Project.
His areas of expertise and experience includes sexual reproductive health and rights; facilitation and training around inclusion, dismantling hetero-normative gender and sexual stereotypes, and creating safe spaces for LGBTIQA+ narratives to be articulated and heard.
Marlow has worked in the environment of organisational change, shifting organisational culture, conflict resolution, mediation and relationship-building. He currently serves as an executive board of the Red Ribbon Foundation, a HIV/AIDS community-driven project.
Marlow joined Inclusive and Affirming Ministries in October 2019.
Leballo Tjemolane born in Lesotho, grew in Johannesburg completing his schooling there. He proceeded to study Philosophy and Theology at St. Joseph’s Theological Institute, completed his honors in Theology at UKZN and Masters in Religion and Social Transformation at UKZN.
Rev Michelle Boonzaaier holds a Bachelor’s degree in Diaconia Youth Work from Huguenot College. She started her career in agricultural development, working with small farmers. Michelle went on to work as a fundraiser at the Institute for the Blind. She holds a Master’s degree in Divinity from the University of Stellenbosch after which she entered the ministry as a Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) minister. Michelle served on the IAM Board in 2010 and joined IAM in 2011. Apart from Michelle’s work at IAM, she continues to work as a consultant in the field of rural development. She was appointed full time and is part of the senior management team from January 2017.
Rev Ecclesia de Lange is an ordained minister of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa (MCSA). She holds a Comprehensive Honours degree in Theology from the University of Southern Africa (UNISA) and a Masters degree in Social Science from the University of Cape Town (UCT). After announcing to her congregation that she was going to marry her same-sex life partner, Ecclesia was charged, suspended, disciplined and discontinued as a Methodist minister in February 2010. She has been involved with IAM part-time since 2011 and became a full-time staff member in 2014 and was appointed as director from June 2017.
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Vandy qualified as a chartered accountant in 2012. She is an experienced Chartered Accountant with a demonstrated history of working in the Auditing industry. Skilled in IFRS, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), UK GAAP, FRS101 and 102. Having been an Accounting teacher for 12 years, it instilled a passion in me for teaching and mentoring people to reach their fullest potential. She recently returned from the UK where she worked as an audit manager for two years and has relocated to Cape Town.
Sarojini Nadar (PhD) is a full professor at the University of the Western Cape where she also holds the Desmond Tutu Research Chair . The chair focuses on developing and supporting advanced research in the area of religion and social transformation in Africa. She was a co-founder of the Gender and Religion program at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2002, and she headed up this programme until 2016. Since its inception, the programme has graduated over 50 Masters and PhD students, mostly African women. Her numerous publications span diverse topics of research at the intersections of gender studies and religion, including gender based violence, HIV, sexuality, masculinity studies and most recently gender in higher education. She sits on five international journal editorial boards including the Harvard based Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, and she is also the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Gender and Religion in Africa. Nadar has won numerous awards for teaching and research, including the National South African Distinguished Young Woman in Science award in 2012, and the Vice chancellors research award in 2015. She has held leadership positions in the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians and also serves on a number of committees including the Faith and Feminism working group of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. As an activist-academic she is committed to authentic and intersectional socially engaged scholarship.
Rev Pieter Oberholzer holds a Masters degree in Theology. He was refused entry into the ministry of the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) because of his homosexual orientation and became pastor with the Reformed Church of Holland for 10 years. Pieter worked as regional director for a community development organisation in the Western Cape from 1983 to 1992 and was part of the core group of the Organisation of Lesbians and Gays against Apartheid (OLGA) that negotiated with the African National Congress (ANC) in the late 80s, resulting in the protection of LGBTQIA+ people in the South African Constitution. In 1999 Pieter received the Gay and Lesbian Association Against Defamation (GLAAD) leadership award in Kansas City. He founded IAM in 1995 and served as Director until 2010. Since 2011 Pieter has served as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Last year Pieter retired and will continue to work for IAM as a consultant.
Rev Judith Kotzé qualified as one of the first Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) female ministers at Stellenbosch University (US) in 1995. She served the DRC from 1996 to 2000 in the multi-disciplinary ministry regarding prostitution. Judith completed a Masters degree in Missiology in the US in 2001, working on Interreligious Dialogue as a model for the Intra-faith Dialogue around sexual orientation. Judith became Director of Operations in 2010, after doing part-time research for IAM since 1997, served as researcher in 2000, and became full-time Senior Programme Manager in 2008. Since 2011 Judith has served as Director of IAM.
Rev. Phumzile Mabizela is the Executive Director of the International Network of Religious Leaders Living with or personally affected by HIV and AIDS (INERELA+) INERELA+ is an Interfaith Network that was formed in 2002, it exists to equip, empower and engage its members to live positively and openly as agents of hope and change in faith communities and countries. Rev Mabizela is a member of the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians. Before joining INERELA+ she was employed by Norwegian Church Aid as the Senior Policy Advisor on Gender Justice in Southern Africa and prior to that she was the Chief Executive Officer of the KwaZulu-Natal Christian Council which is one of the Provincial Councils of Churches in South Africa. Rev Mabizela is a passionate Gender, HIV and AIDS activist who is openly living with HIV.
Rev Siyabulela Gidi is the Director of the South African Council of Churches (SACC) in the Western Cape. He assists as Anglican priest at Holy Cross Anglican Church in Nyanga. Siya obtained a B.Th degree in Theology and an Honour’s degree in Development, and is a former student of the College of Transfiguration (COTT). He serves on various boards including the Restitution Foundation, Ecumenical Forum South Africa and is the current National Chair of Election Monitoring Network. Siya firmly believes in enabling people to live life in its fullness and listening to people’s stories in all their diversity. He is married to Kaya and they are blessed with three boys, Oluvo, Chulu and Kikhulu. Siya joined the IAM Board in May 2012.
Rev Alan Storey is an ordained minister of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa and is presently ministering at the Central Methodist Mission (CMM) in Cape Town. He is chairperson of Gun Free South Africa and serves on the Western Cape Board of the Right to Know Campaign. Alan has an Honour’s degree in Theology and a Master’s degree in Philosophy on Applied Ethics in Economics. He joined the IAM Board in 2011 and since May 2012 serves on the Executive Committee.
Financial and Operations Director of All-Store Stikland, a secure self storage business. Bronwin works with all departments of the business to help them plan and manage their budgets,She also works closely with the CEO, assisting and managing the overall business. Moreover with it being a smaller company, Bronwin is also hands on with general accounts matters too.
Alida Bergman studied at the University of Stellenbosch where she obtained a B.Comm degree and a Diploma in Higher Education and retired after 32 years of teaching Mathematics and Accounting. While teaching, she was also responsible for the finances of the school. She has a passion to work with figures and joined IAM in September 2013 as Financial Administrator.
Liezl van der Westhuizen holds a Masters Degree (MDiac) from UNISA in Practical Theology. She served as Youth worker in the Dutch Reformed Church from 1995–2000 and lectured Practical Theology for 4 years at the Huguenot College. In addition to extensive experience in monitoring and evaluation management for a large NGO as well as a Faith Based Organisation, she offers expertise in project and operational management within the FET sector, child, youth and project development, lecturing, material development, programme evaluations and facilitation. Currently she has her own Sole Proprietor Consultancy offering various services related to 20 years’ diverse work experience. Her involvement with IAM started in 2010 as board member and is currently part time employed by IAM as Senior Manager/Monitoring and Evaluations since January 2014.
Bulelwa Panda partnered with IAM in 2000 with the production of the Created in the Image of God documentary. Bulelwa came out as a lesbian in 2003 and joined the IAM team in 2004 as a part-time worker in Gugulethu. She has a diploma in pre-school teaching and has successfully completed various courses in life skills training. Bulelwa was instrumental in establishing the iThemba Lam (My Hope) Resource Centre and low-key safe house in Tambo Village, Gugulethu. She became the iThemba Lam Manager in 2011.
Secretary at Holy family Catholic Church in Manenberg. Co-ordinator of Ministers of Holy Communion gives Baptism Instructions, Funeral Ministry facilitator in exploring Scripture, also Secretary to child and youth development, Aftercare centre in Manenberg. Christine has various certificates of achievements, was a Supervisor on office at F.I.A.S for (8 years), Protea Assurance (18 years) Clerk, C.P.A (10 years). Certificate: IISA, Dynamix, Customer Sense, Counselling Victims of Crime and Matric Certificate and started working at iTL as Administrator Assistant from March 2013.
Arnold Motsau qualified as a youth worker in 2011. He has has served on many boards, with various portfolios and together with other young people started an NGO that specialises in youth development. He served as Monitoring and Evaluation officer for Iketsetse Mission outreach. And is a qualified Trainer of Trainers. He is working to complete his Masters in Theology and Development with a focus on Health and Gender.His research interests are Gender and Development, Queer Theology, Theology and Sexuality as well as Contextual bible studies. A passionate Gender activist, he served voluntarily for IAM in 2013 and is currently engaged in Gender and Anglican Process.
Dr Charlene van der Walt is an ordained minister of the Dutch Reformed Church and completed her Doctorate in Old Testament at the University of Stellenbosch (US) in 2010 with the dissertation entitled, “Ideology and Power in Bible Interpretation: Towards a communal reading of 2 Samuel 13”. Her research focus is on contextual/intercultural Bible reading and related issues. Her knowledge on gender based violence and sexuality was deepened during a two-year post-doctoral research fellowship in the US within the Center for Bible translation and interpretation in Africa (SEBTIA). Charlene joined IAM as researcher in 2012. In addition to IAM, she serves as the pastor for the Maitland Community Church and holds a part-time lecturing position at the Faculty of Theology at the US where she is responsible for a special focus Master’s project that explores the intersection of Gender, Health and Theology in an African context.
Mfanafuthi B Mvubu obtained a Bachelors degree in Education at the University of Zululand in 2010. He has been involved and served at the Provincial Executive Committee of the Anglican Students Federation (ASF) as the gender education and transformation officer. Mfana connected with IAM at the Chicago Consultation in Durban, October 2011 and joined IAM as part-time Anglican Process Coordinator in July 2012. Since 2014 Mfanafuthi has been a part of the IAM team as Anglican Youth Consultant.
Rev Retha Benadé qualified as teacher at the Potchefstroom Teacher’s College in 1988. She obtained a B.A. Theology degree at The Rand Afrikaans University (RAU) in 2003, and completed an Honours degree in Pastoral Counselling in 2004. Retha joined IAM in 2006.
Ingrid Schoonraad has been involved with IAM as consultant since 2003, developing training resources, supporting IAM with strategic planning and staff development since 2007 and coordinating The First African Dialogue Conference on Spirituality and Sexuality, in 2009. Ingrid holds an Honours degree in Development Studies from the University of Stellenbosch. She is a heterosexual ally who believes that social transformation and inclusion can happen when everybody takes responsibility for modelling and building bridges across gender, culture and sexual diversity, by using dialogue as method. Ingrid joined IAM in 2010 as Senior Program Manager and is responsible for the Regional Manager Africa.
Deon Snyman is an ordained minister of the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa and served the congregations of Northern Zululand (1992 – 1997), Dingaanstat (1997 – 2003) and KwaMakhutha (2003 – 2006, self-supporting). In 2003 he was appointed at the Manager of the Priority Issues Team of the Diakonia Council of Churches in Durban where he was responsible for the management of the following programmes: HIV & AIDS, Democracy, Reconciliation, Restitution, Stress and Trauma support and Economic Empowerment. In March 2006, he was appointed as Chief Operating Officer of the Restitution Foundation with the responsibility of developing and implementing processes that could serve as catalysts for restitution. He holds the following Degrees: MA (Semitic Languages, University of Pretoria), MPhil (Political Studies, University of Cape Town) and PhD (Old Testament Studies, University of Pretoria).
Sindy was born in Willowvale in the Eastern Cape and started her career as a farm worker in Grabouw. She has a number of years’ experience as a domestic worker (for 3 families). She was also employed as a security guard at Look Out Hill Khayelitsha township Cape Town and joined the IAM team on the 1st of March 2017. Sindy can speak both languages English and Xhosa fluently.
Nokuthula Mjwara is well kmown as Thuli. Thuli is an ETDPSETA accredited facilitator and Assessor. She graduated with a Bachelors in Social Sciences as well as certificates in business administration, project management and Treatment Literacy to mention a few and has worked with minority groups varying from youth-at-risk, sentenced offenders within Correctional facilities to youth living with disabilities and LGBTQ families and youth. Thuli has served on a number of local, provincial and National forums advocating for LGBTIQ rights and victim services and is passionate in making the Constitution a lived reality to all within communities.