Programme Team

Mariam Mayet
Executive director
Based in
Johannesburg

Mariam holds BA LLB and LLM degrees, which she obtained from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. Under Mariam’s leadership, the ACB has earned a respected record of evidence-based work and plays a vital role in the food sovereignty struggles on the African continent, through championing new thinking on seed sovereignty policy, and opposing unsustainable and socially unjust food systems, rooted in industrial agriculture, especially genetic engineering of seed and crops.

Sabrina Masinjila
Research and advocacy officer
Based in
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Sabrina joined the ACB in 2014. She has a BA in Environmental Studies from Kenyatta University, Kenya. Sabrina supports the ACB’s work on research, campaigning, networking and advocacy around biosafety, seed systems, and agricultural biodiversity. She is also a link to the East African work on the continent.

Linzi Lewis
Research and advocacy officer
Based in
Swaziland

Linzi is an applied and political ecologist, artist and activist. She has worked at the ACB since June 2016, as a research and advocacy officer.

“I am grateful to be part of this amazing team and part of the social movements reminding the world of the intricate connection between diverse peoples, knowledges, and biodiversity, and challenging the dominant discourse and policies that promote the expansion of industrial agricultural at the expense of everything sacred, and all that sustains life. "

Linzi has a BSc (Hons) Geography, Ecology and Environmental Science (Wits University); MSc Forests and Livelihoods (University of Copenhagen); MSc Agricultural Development (AgroParisTech, Montpellier).

Rutendo Zendah
Research and advocacy officer
Based in
Johannesburg

Rutendo joined the ACB as a research and advocacy officer in February, 2019. She has a background in Agronomy with a BSc from Midlands State University Zimbabwe and an MAgric in Food Security from University of KwaZulu-Natal. She has worked in the NGO sector for seven years with a focus on agriculture research aimed at creating  sustainable pathways for achieving food security and eradicating hunger for all.

Andrew Bennie
Research coordinator
Based in
Johannesburg

Andrew joined the ACB in 2019 on a part-time basis and became a full-time staff member in 2021. He has an MA in Development and Environmental Sociology, and is writing his PhD on the agrarian question, the politics of food, and grassroots organising in South Africa, at Wits University, Johannesburg. His research work has focused mainly on land, extractivism, environment and the politics of food systems. He also has an activist history in cooperative and solidarity economy support, community organising, popular education and coordinating national campaigning on food and climate justice issues.

Communications

Tamara Reddy
Communications officer

Tamara joined the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) in 2020. Through her experience in digital communications, acquired in working with NGOs, and her background in visual art, Tamara ably contributes her skills to drive the reach and impact of ACB’s work. Tamara has a BA in Psychology and Media Studies (University of Witwatersrand).

Admin and Financial Team

Vinern Naidoo
Administration officer
Based in
Johannesburg
Phone
+27 (0)11 486 2701

Vinern joined the ACB in 2013 as administration officer and is responsible for maintaining the financial records and operational functions. He has extensive experience in collection management, administration, finance, procurement and logistics, which he acquired while working for the Department of Arts and Culture.

Hettie Dreyer
Accounting officer
Based in
Pretoria

Hettie is a Tax and Accounting Practitioner with 35 years of experience in business and international accounting, especially in Non-Profit Organisations. Hettie is also part of the ACB's management team together with Mariam Mayet and Dr Greenberg. She has been working with the ACB since July 2013.

Naeemullah Mohammad
Accounting officer
Based in
Johannesburg

Naeem joined the ACB in September 2020, as accounting officer, bringing with him extensive experience in the non-governmental environment, having worked for Community Agency for Social Enquiry (CASE) and the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR), as accountant and senior finance officer. Naeem has a B.com Degree in Accounting. His responsibility focuses mainly on inter alia, the management of accounts, budgeting, administration, audit preparation, and drawing up reports for funders.

Rosanne van der Merwe
Administrative assistant
Based in
Johannesburg

Rosanne has been working part time for ACB since January 2016. She assists with the logistics for events, workshops and meetings. She has experience in the travel and tourism industry, as well as the car hire industry. Rosanne earned her Conference, Exhibition and Event management degree from Damelin, and later studied for a Travel and Tourism diploma from Varsity College.