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Meet the programme team

The programme team brings together expertise and passion in learning design and facilitation, public management and leadership, and women’s leadership development. We are excited to work with dynamic leaders in the local government sphere through this programme.

Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance

Hannah Lindiwe Diaz manages the Executive Education programme of the Mandela School and has more than a decade of experience in executive education. The Executive Education Programme offers senior public leaders and officials, senior national and international actors in the private and non-profit sectors, and members of think tanks high-level training in various public policy and development areas. Hannah coordinates teams of experts, practitioners and facilitators to develop advanced training offerings that address strategic public leadership, core policy skills and public sector reform, and are shaped by relevant research, leading practice, and a strong focus on practical application. Hannah holds a BA Hons. in Anthropology from Rhodes University and a MA in Development Studies, specialised in Poverty Studies and Social Policy, from the Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam. She is also currently undertaking a postgraduate qualification in Educational Technology.

Barbara Green-Thompson has over 20 years of experience in the teaching and learning environment in public health care and basic education. She is especially capable when it comes to designing and facilitating programmes that enable learning experiences for various cadres of staff. She holds a MA in Public Health and qualifications in psychology, business management, and coaching, mentoring and adult education.  



Mabel Sithole has over 13 years’ experience working in human rights, public policy and development in Africa. Mabel obtained her first degree in Politics and Administration from the University of Zimbabwe and obtained an Honours Degree in Public Policy and a Masters in Development Studies from the University of Cape Town. She is pursuing a PhD in Political Studies at UCT, her current research interests focus on leadership and governance in Southern Africa.  Prior to joining the Mandela School, she worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross and Skillshare International, focusing on Southern Africa. She is also an established musician (Mae Sithole), recipient of the ConcertsSA Mobility Fund, and was named one of Cape Town’s Top 5 Innovative Female Musician Innovators by Of Africa Magazine.


Petunia Thulo has over a decade’s work experience in Corporate Communications and in 2016 obtained Master’s Degree in Development and Management from North-West University. Petunia is passionate about gender equality and the well-being of Africa.



Zenande Leadership Consulting

Pam Yako is the Managing Director of Zenande Leadership Consulting. She holds a Master in Business Leadership degree from the University of South Africa and has over 20 years’ experience in the public sector and has worked as a Director-General for the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and Department of Water Affairs (DWA). Pam is also an experienced project manager, an executive coach a member of the Coaching and Mentoring Association of South Africa (COMENSA).  She is an experienced facilitator that has led and managed various policies, strategies and legislation development processes for national government including the White Paper on Local Government Process, Environmental legislation, and the Water for Growth and Development Framework and the early stages of the review of the National Water Resources Strategy.

Litha Geza is the Director and Senior Consultant at Zenande Leadership Consulting. She holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Potchefstroom University; an Executive Specialized Master in Consulting and Coaching for Change from HEC Paris Executive Education and Oxford University; and an International Gestalt Organization and Leadership Development certificate from iGOLD centre, USA. Litha has 26 years public sector experience and has served as the Deputy Director General in the Office of the Premier, Eastern Cape. Litha is a certified Integral Coach by UCT Graduate School of Business and a member of the Coaching and Mentoring Association of South Africa (COMENSA). She has undergone training in “Evidence for Policy Making and Implementation” at the Nelson Mandela School of Government, UCT as well as training in “Scenario Planning and Strategic Thinking” at the Gordon Institute of Business Science. She has served in a number of leadership positions including Chairperson of the Governance and Administration Cluster and Chairperson of the Public Sector Transformation Working Group.

Gcinashe Gcanga is the Chief Operating Officer of Zenande Leadership Consulting. She holds an Honours Degree in Psychology from the University of South Africa. She has over 25 years’ experience in the Public Sector with the last position being that of a Programme Manager (Chief Director Level) of the Governance and Compliance Unit at the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) where she managed key projects within the Department of Environmental Affairs. She has extensive experience in Project Management, having led in the project management of international conferences such as the UNFCCC COP 17 as well as the CITES COP 17 – which were both hosted by the country in 2011 and 2016 respectively. She has  headed several other key projects, among them the implementation of the government-wide Operations Management Framework project, which saw the DEA meet the requirements set out in the 2016 Public Service Regulations and ensured that the Department had an Operations Management Policy, its key Business Processes mapped, Standard Operating Procedures developed as well as a Service Delivery Model developed.

Thando Khoza is the Project Manager of Zenande Leadership Consulting. She holds an Honours degree Entomology, from the University of Fort Hare, a TEFL Diploma in Business English, registered with UNISA for a diploma in Adult learning. Thando has 16 years’ experience both in public and private sector.  She has gained experience in research and leadership while serving three years at the Medical Research Council and 12 Department of Education (5 public and 7 private schools). She is a member of SACNASP. Thando started community project called Tower of Hope an NGO  that focuses on marginalised communities particularly young women in the Eastern Cape, empowering them with agriskills and training programmes to alleviate poverty and to improve their socio-economic status.