The 2019 Judges

2019 Judges

Natasha Abed

Natasha Abed is Executive for Customer Operations at MTN SA. She has in this role since September 2017. Abed joins MTN SA from MultiChopice SA where she was the General Manager for Customer Care at Multichoice, a role she has served in since 2014.  In her current role, she is responsible for developing and implementing a strategy to improve MTN SA’s customer experience delivery. She holds a Management Advancement Programme from Wits Business School and also a Customer Centricity, Strategic Thinking and Planning course, all from the University of Pretoria and the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS).

Giovanni Chiarelli 

Giovanni Chiarelli is the Chief Technology and Information Officer for MTN South Africa. He has served in this role since November 2016. Chiarelli is a seasoned professional with extensive experience in the fields of information and technology gleaned from a number of multi-national corporations, including Infostrada, Accenture, Telecom Italia and Vodafone Group. Chiarelli is responsible for shaping and driving technology and information strategies for MTN SA. Before joining MTN SA, Chiarelli was the Chief Technology Officer of Vodafone Romania, and prior to that he served as the Global IT Programme Director for Vodafone Group. Chiarelli holds an Electrical Engineering degree from Poliecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy and a MBA from Universita Luigi Bocconi, Milan, Italy. In 2009, Oracle Corporation awarded him ‘CIO of the Year for the EMEA Region’.

Richard Askham

Richard started his career with the completion of a BSc. Engineering at the University of KZN. I believe that engineering is the application of the formal and physical sciences in order to improve and enrich humankind. My career and experience are a clear reflection of this.

I focus on the field of Information Systems and Technology, and how information systems enable and optimise the management of business processes and information.

My specialties include Software architecture and development, development management, technical team management, network management, telco operations management, agile methods.

Dr Vukosi Marivate

Hails from Ga-Rankuwa. Studied Electrical Engineering (Information Option) at the University of the Witwatersrand. Undertook a Master’s degree under the supervision of Prof. Tshilidzi Marwala.

Was a PhD student in the Department of Computer Science at Rutgers, The University of New Jersey as a Fulbright Science and Technology Scholar and the supervision of Prof. Michael Littman. In 2009 he started out in the USA as a PhD Student at Rutgers University.

Naomi Molefe

Naomi is the Chair for the South African chapter of Women in Big Data. A global non-profit community of 14000 women, that aims to connect, inspire and increase the inclusion of women in Big Data fields. She has a background in Social Sciences, majoring in Psychology and holds a Master of Science in Strategic Management and Planning from the triple accredited UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, in Dublin Ireland. She has extensive experience in Executive Talent acquisition and management, having worked across sectors in Mining, Telecommunications, Financial Services and Media Entertainment. She currently works as an Innovation and Digital Talent consultant.

Lisel Engelbrecht

CIO PBBSA : Data , Analytics & AI at Standard Bank GroupFinancial Services environment in South Africa. Lisel is currently an executive at Standard Bank and has been with Standard Bank South Africa for just over 3years. She is currently the CIO PBBSA and help business and IT think differently about Data. Lisel has spent most of her career involved in large scale Enterprise projects all with a Data flavour in the Manufacturing, Retail, eCommerce, Operations, Business and Personal Banking division of Financial Services environment in South Africa. Lisel specializes in the practical application of data management principles and to use data to tell a story. She’s known for her slightly irreverent yet constructive opinions and rants on data topics

She wants you to love your data! She is well known for her ability to play both deep and wide across the complex data topic.

Lisel is known for her high-energy and can-do attitude, no problem is ever to big, in fact it energises her as it helps her grow her knowledge, with every problem there is something new to learn or explore and expand her skills.

When not working (which is seldom) Lisel loves to master all forms of dance, she has her teachers in Ballet, Modern, Belly dancing, Zumba and Nia and believes through dancing she can find her peace. She also finds great joy dry land sledding with her 5 huskies, this fills her adrenalin junky hunger.

Lisel speaks three core languages fluently. 1. #Afrikaans-This is my mother tongue. Absolutely brilliant and deep. 2. #English-This is my official language for communication and learning 3. #Data-This is my professional language. #dataliteracy

Moerieda Mackay

A South African entrepreneur, founder and Chief Executive of Stride Consultancy Services.

Stride is a challenger strategy and innovation management consultancy passionate about strengthening the strategic thinking and innovation capabilities of clients to re-innovate their value propositions.

Mackay is a tenacious strategist and management consultant with a demonstrated history of working in IT Advisory; consulting firms include Software Futures, CCH and Ernst & Young.

She has extensive experience leading strategic engagements and driving C-level transformation agendas in Africa with a global active network of clients, academics, industry leaders, investors as well as her peers.

Prior to embarking on her entrepreneurial journey, Mackay was an IT Executive for African Bank. She also head the Corporate PMO, Process Management and Business Architecture functions for Cell C, South Africa’s 3rd largest cellular network operator. Over the years she held various senior leadership positions in Nedbank, Standard Bank, Absa, Transnet and the National Youth Development Agency.

She’s an endurance sports junkie at heart and an accomplished ultrarunner with races like the Comrades Marathon, Ultra Trail Cape Town and the Marathon Des Sables (the toughest footraces on earth) under her belt and forever searching the next impossible challenge.

Sethunya Mbete

She joined CSG on 24th May 2019 as the Customer Delivery Executive (‘’CDE’’) for the MTN account. Sethunya has twenty years’ experience in the telecoms industry; she has held various executive and senior management positions at MTN, GloCell Service Provider, City of Johannesburg and SIMUKA, leading delivery, operations and commercial teams. She previously worked at MTN for fifteen years, delivering diverse projects in Consumer, Enterprise, Marketing and Finance business units. Her last role at MTN was General Manager of Carrier Services (2012-2014), where she was responsible for Interconnect, Roaming and Managed Infrastructure

Phinda Ncala

Phinda Ncala is the Executive: Information Technology at MTN South Africa. He has in this role since December 2017. Ncala joined MTN SA from South African Airways where he served as Chief Information Officer.