The Team

Ivan Pillay

Ivan PIllay was a Merebank activist caught up in the heady days of the Durban anti-apartheid politics of the 1970s, which owed much to the social cohesion and capital of the Indian community and the example of determined struggle families. His exile years ended in the late 1980s with a role in Operation Vula, which infiltrated ANC leaders into South Africa to bring order and coherence to the underground and channel popular anger.

Joining the South African Revenue Service (SARS) in 1999 meant an opportunity to work in an institution that was crucial with regard to the new democratic state’s ability to provide services to all people in the country, by taxing wealth and thereby providing state services like housing, education and health. Working under then Commissioner Pravin Gordhan, Ivan first became head of Criminal Investigations, then General Manager Enforcement, then Chief Officer Risk and Enforcement, then Deputy Commissioner, and ultimately Acting Commissioner. He was forced to resign from SARS in 2015 and now works as a private consultant for companies and state enterprises interested in improving their governance and rooting out corruption.

Dr Liezl Groenewald

Liezl is Senior Manager: Organisational Ethics at The Ethics Institute (TEI) in South Africa and immediate past President of the Business Ethics Network of Africa (BEN-Africa). She completed her PhD in Applied Ethics in 2022. She is a seasoned facilitator for The Ethics Institute and the Institute of Directors South Africa, and guest lecturer at the Innsbruck University of Applied Sciences (Austria), and some business school in SA. She speaks at local and international conferences, is a commentator in the media on ethics and whistleblowing, a moderator, author of business and military ethics related articles. She has written a Whistleblowing First Responder Guide, as well as the Whistleblowing Management Handbook. She co-authored the Ethics and Compliance Handbook and Institutionalising Ethics Handbook and contributed to the Ethics Office Handbook. Together with the Institute for Business Ethics (UK), she focuses on the development of non-retaliation tools to assist organisations and whistleblowers.

Liezl serves on the Council of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), is a member of the Inaugural Committee of the International Society of Military Ethics for Africa (Afro-ISME), and serves on the Advisory Boards of BEN-Africa and Visslan (a whistleblowing service provider in Sweden). She is a research associate at US (Philosophy Department) and represented South Africa at the global technical working groups for ISO 37000, the ISO Standard for the Governance of Organisations, and ISO 37002, the ISO Whistleblowing Management Standard.

Martha Ngoye

Martha Ngoye is an attorney of the High Court of South Africa and has practiced as a corporate lawyer. She worked for some of South Africa’s most prestigious firms such as Edward Nathan and Friedland. She is a trailblazer as she answered the call of the corporate giants and went to work for Standard Bank and Barclays, respectively. This was in the tumultuous period when big white law firms weren’t ready for women, especially black women.

Martha heeded the patriotic call to build and strengthen the civil service and joined Transnet, South Africa’s government owned freight rail and shipping infrastructure company. She later joined the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) where she continues to fight a ceaseless wave of corruption. She is a warrior at the forefront of fighting corruption in all its forms, including officials, Ministers and their invisible apparitions.

Martha fundamentally understands, embraces and lives corporate governance. When she was the Group Executive of Legal, Risk and Compliance, and later the Acting Chief Executive for PRASA, she found herself fighting unlawful contracts that officials in government were trying to use to swindle the people of South Africa. This brave stance led to much suffering and victimisation which she is still fighting to this day.

Ben Theron

Ben Theron is a Certified Fraud Examiner and a seasoned Operations Executive with 30 years’ experience. He holds a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Pretoria and has extensive experience in telecommunications, electronic tolling and forensic investigations. A few highlights in his career include: the design and building of the Gauteng Freeway Tolling system, refocussing the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) into a powerful anti-corruption fighting and lobby group, and re-engineering and repositioning the Eskom Forensic Investigations Unit to conclude sensitive and critical investigations. This allowed law enforcement agencies to fast track civil and criminal cases and bring these to fruition.

Cynthia Stimpel

Cynthia Stimpel holds a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA). She has spent 33 years in the banking industry and the last 10 years at South African Airways as Financial Risk Manager. She also held the position of Group Treasurer over the last two years. In 2019 she started a support group for whistleblowers in South Africa and is campaigning for the rights and plights of whistleblowers through her company, Citizens of Conscience Foundation. She is a motivational speaker, covering her story as a whistleblower, and “making a difference where you are”.

Cynthia is a Yoga instructor for adults and children, volunteers at Accountability Now, Radio Veritas, and does community work. She bakes artisan baked bread, called “Granny’s Bread” and is the author of “Hijackers on Board”, recently published on the SAA saga. She received the Citation of Integrity Award from the Airline Pilots Association of South Africa (APLA-SA), for having stood by her truth in the SAA deal.