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H.E Professor Lekoa Solly Mollo

President of the South African Military History Commission

Shipping As a Tool of Both Oppression and Liberation – Formation/Reformation/Transformation of the South African Nation - A Military/Naval Historical Perspective

  • Special Advisor to the South African Minister of Public Service and Administration

  • Adjunct Professor at the University of Witwatersrand in Public and Development Management

  • Professor Extraordinaire at the University of Stellenbosch Business School

  • Chief Human Resource Support for the South African National Defence Force (SANDF)

  • Commandant of the South African Military Academy

  • Former Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) combatant and represented MK in the military negotiations for the formation of the new SANDF

  • Member of the Military Court of Appeals

  • President of the South African Military History Commission


Military Decorations:

  • PG: Protea Gold for Leadership

  • MMS: Military Merit Silver for serving the liberation army selflessly with outstanding leadership

  • MMM: Military Merit Medal for selfless service in the negotiation and integration of former adversary forces


Qualifications :  Prof. Mollo studied Law and holds two masters degrees from the US Naval Postgraduate School: one in International Security and Civil Military Relations, and another in National Security Affairs on Regional Studies of Sub-Saharan Africa

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Mr Morakabe Raks Seakhoa

Chief Executive Officer of the Maritime Heritage Institute

About the Maritime Heritage Conference & Maritime Heritage Lecture & Colloquia Series

After over 30 years’ experience in the grassroots and non-governmental organisations and activities, Raks Morakabe Seakhoa founded and heads, since 1999, the wRite associates, a one-stop public relations, strategies, project and event management agency that delivers highly effective implementable services and products, focused mainly within the arts, culture and heritage sector and beyond. 


Venturing into Maritime Heritage World

From 2015 to June 2019 he founded and headed the Maritime Heritage Programme at SAMSA (SA Maritime Safety Authority), working on maritime heritage development strategies and projects.


Upon the end of his contract at SAMSA, he established the Maritime Heritage Institute, conceptualised and spearheaded the inaugural Maritime Heritage Conference that also launched the Maritime Heritage Careers and Jobs Expo, Maritime Heritage Awards and Maritime Heritage Lecture in September 2019.

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Ms Louisa Mabe

Acting CEO of the National Heritage Council (NHC)

Shipping Heritage As an Essential Tool For Our Education Curriculum Development

Ms Louisa Mabe was born in Tlhakong (Mabeskraal), Rustenburg in the North West Province, South Africa. She completed her matric at Rauwane Sepeng High School during the heat of apartheid post the 1976 students’ uprisings.


She proceeded with tertiary education at Hebron College of Education to train as a High School Educator where she became more active in politics. While she taught for many years as an educator while she was also active in politics and trade union activities. She held various leadership positions in education, trade union and political landscape.


In 2000 she became a local government Councilor and later joined the National Parliament (National Assembly) as a Member. She participated and chaired various committees such as the Public Accounts and Joint Budget Committees.


In 2009 she then joined the North West Provincial Legislature as an MEC (Member of the Executive Committee) for Finance and later Education.


She joined the Council of Robben Island Museum and World Heritage Site Council in December 2019 and has recently been appointed as the Acting CEO/Administrator for the National Heritage Council (NHC).


She has been in the economic and governance space for several years and has taken interest in the Heritage and Cultural issues as a new area of focus.


Mr Thapedi Masanabo

Curator of the South African National Memorial and Commemorative Museum, Delville Wood, in France

Our Shipping Heritage, History and Legacy: The Sinking of the Mendi and Its Impact Beyond Our Time and Shores.

Mr Masanabo is the Curator of the South African National Memorial and Commemorative Museum, Delville Wood, in France. 

Born in Springs in Gauteng Province, South Africa and matriculated at Kgothala High School in Dennilton, Limpopo Province, in 1984. 

Obtained a junior degree at the University of the North in 1990, followed by two years of French study for non-degree purposes, first at the now University of Johannesburg (1991) and then at the University of the Witwatersrand (1992).

From September 1993 to November 1996, studied at the University of Besançon in France, obtained a Licence Science du Langage, Français Langue étrangère degree and a master's degree in Science du Langage, Français Langue étrangère.

From 1997-1998,  lectured French at the University of the North (now Limpopo) and in 1999 did a special course in the theory of didactics of translations at the University of Paris.

In 2000, appointed as Business Tourism Manager at South African Tourism in Paris, France, a post held until 2006.

From 2007 to date, Curator at the South African National Memorial and Commemorative Museum at Delville Wood in France.

In his current role, he has successfully overseen the transformation of the original Sir Herbert Baker designed South African memorial from its erstwhile position of exclusively memorising "white" soldiers to a racially inclusive monument that recognises the supreme sacrifice of all South African soldiers in the liberation of France. The re-imagined memorial officially opened on the centenary of the Battle of Deville Wood on 12 July 2016 and continues to attract much interest and serve as a beacon of hope for inclusive memory.   


Ms Julia Ramitshana

Director of WIMA - SA Chapter 

Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG5)- Achieve Gender Equality & Empower All Women & Girl Children.

Ms. Dikeledi Julia Ramitshana was born and bred in Mahikeng Northwest Province in South Africa. 

Julia is one of the directors of WIMA- SA Chapter under the Presidency of Ms. Ipeleng Selele. 

Julia has been in the Maritime environment since 2002, a 18 years of continuous experience in leadership roles within Transnet. 

Julia has extensive experience and understanding of the industry (Blue Economy and specifically Maritime Operations). She continues to be engaged in the industry as Senior Operations Manager in Transnet offices in Johannesburg. 

Julia joined TNPA and served in several functions at the entity’s head office in Johannesburg. She served in Finance and later moved to serve in Marine Operations at both Port of Durban and later at Port of Richards Bay for more than 10 years. 

In preparation for the challenge to head Marine Services Operations, she was nominated as one of the successful candidates, secondment to Rotterdam, Netherlands in 2002 where she was hosted by the Port of Rotterdam (then Top Maritime Harbour Internationally). During her stay in Netherlands, she engaged with several companies that are in maritime business and Ports Authorities (Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Smit Pentow Marine, Damen Ship Builders etc.). 


Mr Vusumuzi Mkhize

Director General of Department of Arts and Culture

Keynote: Our Shipping Heritage: The Making & Sustaining of Nations

Mr. Vusumumizi Mkhize is the Director General of Arts and Culture was appointed in September 2017. He has over 28 years overall experience in the public service in general. He spent 9 years as Deputy Director General at the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa where he spearheaded the development and management of the operations in the Department through Stakeholders’ Forums by providing strategic direction and positioning of the branch within the department. In executing his responsibilities, Mr. Mkhize has always been led by his sense of innovative value chain management.


Mr. Mkhize strongly believes in African values and in international cooperation to build the future and show to the world the country’s heritage and preserve the same for the posterity of the future generations. Since his appointment as the Director General of Arts and Culture he will also be making sure that he focuses on culture and creativity to cement not only the hearts and souls, but the entire society.

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Commander Tsietsi Mokhele

Chairperson of the Maritime Heritage Institute 

The political economy of Maritime Heritage - Shipping, Now and Then

Commander Tsietsi Mokhele is the Chairperson of the Maritime Heritage Institute (MHI) and immediate past Chief Executive Officer of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (2008 – 2016). 

His maritime career started in 1987 when, he got a scholarship to the Caspian Higher Naval College in the Soviet Union, qualifying as a Naval Officer on completion of his BSc Equivalent Degree (Ship Navigation, Command) in 1991.

In 1993/1994 he was appointed as the Co-Chairperson of the Navy Integration Work Group at the Joint Military Co-ordination Committee (JMCC). The JMCC was a body put together, following the multi-party negotiations between mainly the ANC and Nationalist Party government, constituting a transitional government formation charge with the development and implementation of the strategy and policies for the integration of the multiple military formations in South Africa. As the Co-chairperson, Commander Mokhele was charged with not only representing the interests of the ANC but also to co-design a new Naval Organization which would be capable of serving the democratic government of the day and uphold the democratic constitution in South Africa. For that role he played within the JMCC he is a proud recipient of the Commendation of the Chief of the Navy.

After the Navy integration process, and between 1994-1997; he proudly joined the SA Navy as a Commander, put on the uniform of the new SA National Defence Force (SANDF) and served his country as a Senior Officer. 

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H.E Dr Nomvuyo Nokwe

Secretary General of the Indian Ocean Rim Association

The Role of Inter-governmental Organisations In Strengthening Co-operation and Sustainable Development -Shipping Heritage in South Africa/Africa - Ancient, Colonial/Anti-colonial and Democratic Epochs

Dr Nomvuyo Nontsikelelo Nokwe, the first African woman Secretary-General of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), has achieved significant success in driving enhanced regional economic cooperation and sustainable development among the IORA member states, businesses and academia under the Chair leadership of India, Indonesia, Australia, South Africa and the UAE. Her primary objective has been to reposition the Association and to deliver on sustainable long-term values and goals in line with the Jakarta Concord.

Major successes at IORA include the improved efficiency, transparency, and accountability of the Secretariat, the enhanced control of expenditure and the implementation of risk management processes and procedures. She also established new Working Groups in the areas of the Blue Economy, Maritime Safety and Security, Women’s Economic Empowerment; as well as Tourism and Disaster Risk Management.

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