Board of Trustees

Riefdah Ajam

Riefdah Ajam, the FEDUSA General Secretary, has been part of the federation for over 21 years. Serving in all operational areas within the federation, Riefdah’s passion and determination remains the empowerment of FEDUSA members and all workers alike to ensure that the principle of Decent Work and Decent Life for All is realised. Riefdah holds both Bachelors and Postgraduate Degrees in Business Management and is a current applicant for the Master of Business Management (MBA) programme for the 2020 academic intake. She also serves on a number of statutory and non-statutory Boards and Councils, with a recent deployment to the Employment Services Board.

Kelly Gillespie is an educator and cultural worker with a research focus on criminal justice and abolition in South Africa. She works at the department of Anthropology at the University of the Western Cape. She writes and teaches about urbanism, violence, sexualities, race and the praxis of social justice. Kelly has been involved in work on the decolonisation of universities in South Africa, supporting student movement activism and curriculum reconstruction. She also works beyond the university in popular education projects supporting a broad range of social justice formations, most recently against police brutality in urban eviction processes.

Mondli Hlatshwayo

Mondli Hlatshwayo is a Senior Researcher in the Centre for Education Rights and Transformation at the University of Johannesburg. Previously he worked for Khanya College, a Johannesburg-based NGO, as an educator and researcher. His areas of research include precarious work, migrant workers, World Cup and stadia, unions and technological changes, workers’ education, trade unions and social movements. Hlatshwayo has published a number of peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on the above-mentioned topics. He is co-editor (with Aziz Choudry) of the Pluto Press book, Just Work? Migrant Workers’ Struggle Today. His doctoral thesis, which he completed in 2012, was on trade union responses to technological changes.

Martin Jansen

Martin Jansen is the Director/Editor of Workers’ World Media Productions. He previously worked for the Labour Research Service as its head of Education and Media Unit. Prior to that he was a trade unionist with the COSATU-affiliated Chemical Workers Industrial Union. Martin has a long history of student, youth and community activism. He is currently the board chairperson of Cape Town TV, a community TV channel of the greater Cape Town community. He holds a Masters degree in Communications and Development (Malmo University, Sweden).

Hibist Kassa

Dr Hibist Kassa is a Senior Researcher at the Institute for African Alternatives. She is also a Research Associate at the Centre for African Studies and Chair in Land and Democracy in South Africa. Hibist’s activism began as a student organiser with the Student Worker Solidarity Society in the University of Ghana. By 2011, she had completed her Bachelor of Arts and Master in Philosophy in Political Science at the University of Ghana. Her higher education was supported by the Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Programme. Originally from Ethiopia, her parents moved to Zimbabwe in 1986 to provide diplomatic support to Southern Africa. She was brought up with the principles of self-worth, dignity, self-reliance and freedom.

Phindile Kunene

Phindile Kunene holds an MA in History (Wits). Her research variously explored the history of the local state in South Africa. youth political activism, apartheid forms of cooption and youth political demobilization. She has also explored post- apartheid forms and repertoires of collective action and protest. An activist herself, she has been involved in youth and student movement, trade unions and currently works as an educator and curriculum specialist in service to activist organizations. She joined the board in 2020.

Mzi Velapi

Mzi Velapi is a content producer and trainer at WWMP. He started activism in high school and is passionate about the need to build alternative media. Mzi has qualifications in teaching and journalism as well as a Postgrad Diploma in Land and Agrarian Studies. He joined WWMP in 2004.