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Executive Team Profiles

Conquest For Life’s Board of Directors comprises of directors elected from and by ordinary members of the community, up to two co-opted members, as required, on terms; and an elected non-voting staff representative, i.e. the CEO. The Board elects its Chair, Deputy Chair and Treasurer.

Role
The Board meets quarterly and is responsible setting the strategic direction and determining the broad philosophy of how our organization functions. It also ensures we comply with relevant standards and provides accountability to our stakeholders.

The Board has representatives leading committees which focus on particular issues. That is Audit, monitoring & evaluation, Community Reference Committee and Finance.

Elections
Each elected Board member sits for a four-year term with elections of half the Board taking place every two years.

Chairman
Dr. Prof. Seth Cooper

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Dr Saths Cooper is Vice President of the International Union of Psychological Science. He is a graduate of the Universities of South Africa and Witwatersrand, and Boston University where he obtained his PhD in Clinical/Community Psychology as a Fulbright Scholar. He taught at the latter two universities and the Universities and the University of the Western Cape, and served as a doctoral examiner at the Universities of the Western Cape, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. He has presented papers and talks extensively in South Africa, North America, Europe, Asia and the African continent, and has also been published in South Africa and abroad.

A close colleague of the late Steve Biko, Dr Saths Cooper has played a key role in the anti-Apartheid struggle, having banned and house-arrested and jailed for nine years (spending over five years in Robben Island in the same cell-block as former President Mandela), and was declared a ‘victim of gross human rights violations’ by South Africa’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission in 1998.

He has been a recipient of many citations and awards, has been relied on by foreign and South African agencies, institutions and leaders to advise and inform them on socio-economic political developments in South Africa, and has facilitated foreign and local investment and development in South Africa. He replaced Czech President Vaclav Havel as keynote speaker at the 15th Fulbright Association Conference held in Baltimore in October 1992.

Life Fellow of the International Biographical Centre in Cambridge (UK) and the first National Director of the Institute of Multi-Party Democracy, he was the Executive Director of the Family Institute (1992-5). Dr Saths Cooper serves on the boards of a variety of companies and institutions in South Africa and the United States (eg Community Investments Southern Africa Ltd, Uni-Africa Investment Holdings Ltd, For Life, Kenako Consulting, Selano Investments and Impilo).

Elected by his peers in 1996, in 1997 and again 1998 as President of the Psychological Society of South Africa, Dr. Saths Cooper was elected by the Society as its first Fellow in September 2002. He chaired the statutory Professional Board for Psychology at the Health Professions Council of South Africa from 19999-2004 and was Vice-President of the HPCSA.

He chairs the SA National Committee for the International Union of Psychological Science at the National Research Foundation. He chaired the Government Task Team to Curb Child Pornography on the Internet and the Road Accident Fund, and was appointed to the National Task Team on Correctional Services and the Ministerial Committee on Health Ethics. He served as a member of the councils of the Universities of the Witwatersrand and Durban-Westville, and headed an interdisciplinary national study into pre-pubescent rape on behalf of the National Prosecuting Authority, which reported to Cabinet, and was a member of the Press Ombudsman’s Appeal Panel.

Dr Saths Cooper was the last Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of Durban-Westville (merged in UKZN) and chairs Medicover Medical Scheme. He is currently known as Professor Saths Cooper.

Chief Executive Officer
Glen Steyn

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Glen Steyn is an Ashoka Fellow and an Award-Winning Social Entrepreneur who comes from the “United States of Westbury”. He finished his matric in 1987 and began a career in banking in 1988. He also started a local church youth group that sought out ways to help the community through volunteer projects. After a few years, frustrated by the lack of opportunity in banking, he resigned to study theology for two years at Rhema Bible College in Randburg.

He co-founded a ministry and helped start the New Claremont Development Forum and Community Police Forum. Glen also completed a certificate in Community Leadership and paralegals at the Univesity of Johannesburg (RAU).

In 1993, Glen’s brother was killed by his friends, members of his own gang. At the same time, just before South Africa’s democratic elections, the nation’s “coloured” neighbourhoods were largely disenfranchised from the changes in the country and were becoming hotbeds of both activism and violence. Glen wanted to take his community-based work to another level. Because Westbury was already so divided, he had a notion to start an organisation that would reflect the needs of the whole community. But in his early efforts, he encountered a lot of resistance in the “coloured” community itself.

“We talk about racism and division, and amongst coloured people even today we have that problem,” he said. “It’s based on the colour of your skin: is it light or is it dark? The colour of your hair; the colour of your eyes; where you stay; the way you speak.” In the immediate wake of 1994 elections, Glen also found that the “coloured” community was so disenfranchised that political controversy – not community improvement – took centre stage. Some civic leaders had pledged allegiance to the African National Congress during the struggle against apartheid, and were promised councillor positions and other authority in the event of democracy.

Glen was frustrated by the politics and disheartened by efforts to create change. By this time, Glen had left school to work full-time in sales for Clover SA, a national dairy and food distributor. In his free time, Glen was an administrator at a local church and hoped that his church could make a small difference to stop violence in his community. Conquest For Life was born out of the will and passion of seeing a social change of Glen Steyn and his friends. Glen and Conquest For Life won various awards including the first award from GIBS – Social Entrepreneur on the Brink 2006, Mail & Guardian Award for Investing in the future. He appeared in several newspapers, magazines and television programes on SABC, E-TV and MNET.

Treasurer
Satish Bhala

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Satish has 19 years working experience in finance and investment banking. He has worked at the largest infrastructure Private Equity investor in Africa: Harith. Prior to joining Harith, Satish worked at the largest Private Equity Fund in Africa, Brait. Satish also obtained extensive corporate advisory work experience whilst working at First Africa and NM Rothschild. Satish completed his articles at Investec and achieved 3rd overall position for the SAICA Board exam.

Satish has worked on various landmark transactions and investments in South Africa and the rest of Africa. He is currently running his own business and continues to offer his support and services to CFL.

Secretary
Rowayda Halim

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Rowayda Halim has over thirty years experience in Management and Leadership in various companies. She held many leadership positions in Public and Private Companies such as Adcock Ingram, Janssen-Cilag (a subsidiary of the J & J group) and Swartklip Products (a subsidiary of DENEL). She has extensive experience in Middle management and was a member of the executive committee at Swartklip Products. She ventured into being an independent consultant.

She holds a Diploma in Analytical Chemistry, Purchasing Management, International Procurement and Advanced Negotiation Skills, Executive Leadership Programme (ELP) and a postgraduate programme in Systemic Organisational Development, specifically in the area of Transformation, Diversity and Change Management with focus on the African Continent.

Rowayda was involved in many community initiatives and has worked extensively in the field of violence against women and children and women’s health issues. Over the years she held board positions on various NGO’s, among other; theNisaa Institute for Women’s Development, the Pitseng Woman’s Trust. She held management positions at Khanya College Johannesburg Trust. Was an affiliate member of the Advancement for The Status of Women (ASW). A member of Central Planning Committee of the women’s desk of the Advice Centres Association (ASA). Served on the executive structures of the Community Health Awareness Project (CHAP) which offered free health services to communities where there was an absence of such services. She continues to be an active community organizer.

Desmond Swarts

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I was born on the 26th of April, 1964 in a township know as Western Johannesburg. My early childhood was plagued with all kinds of challenges as I lost my mom at the age of 2years old and my dad remarried shortly thereafter. Due to the fact that my stepmom had kids of her own, my siblings and I were not her priority. This lead to a very unstable situation for us, being pushed from pillar to post.

I eventually ended up in Noordgesig with an aunt and uncle who were devout followers of Christ. Here I was first introduced to God and my life changed forever. I later moved to Bosmont to live with another relative who brought even more stability in my upbringing. I attended three different primary schools during my formative primary school years namely Dowling primary, Nordgesig primary and eventually Bosmont primary. Moving on to CJB Senior Secondary where I started my High school career.

I left CJB senior secondary after three years and moved to Klerksdorp where I completed my matric. During my matric year (1983) I got involved with our school's evangelistic team. I was also very active at my local church (AFM) which afforded me the opportunity to preach as well as doing outreaches. I returned to Johannesburg in 1984 and started working three months later. I got involved in ministry almost immediately. In 1988 I enrolled at Rhema Bible training centre for more formal preparation and the following year enrolled at the School of Psalmody.

Verona Presslin

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Mrs Presslin became a certified Christian Counselor in 2014.

Verona completed her matric in 1984, studied as a commercial secretary in 1985. Embarked on her corporate career as an administrator, secretary, office manager and executive performance partner in the finance, medical, multimedia entertainment and education sector between 1988 to 2004. She became self employed in 2004 when she saw a gap in the market to consult in the secretarial and special events divisions in corporate and government.

Mrs Presslin has been very fortunate to be mentored by Bertha Xgowa in 2010 who was one of the women who were very instrumental in the apartheid era. She has been involved with various NGOs in the Gauteng area and lately with Conquest for Life as a volunteer, working behind the scene as a skilled administrator and passionate coordinator.

Currently Mrs Presslin is a Director for Redeemed Gospel Church SA, a member of The Don Matterra Legacy Foundation and an Executive Manager for Fundi Communications and Advertising. A self-driven woman with great experience in business, working with people within the communities through training and self-development and mentors various young women.

Deslynn Marr

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My name is Deslynn Marr, father, husband, businessman and Entrepreneur. born in Pretoria at a time when apartheid was at its peak and from a below-average family. I then moved to Eldorado Park in the late seventies where I then started primary school. in the early eighties, we moved to Riverlea and hence started my high school career. as I moved on from high school I started my first job at Standard Bank and from the onset, I was dedicated to my job and committed to doing it well. this set precedence in all that I do in life. I give 110% where I can. I have been in businesses that failed, learned from the experience and now I am in a business that will only succeed. I am a go-getter, risk-taker, leader and always committed. I have a passion for helping others where I can and sometimes I fall prey to the saying you can't please all the people all of the time. in a nutshell, I am focused and always ready for the tasks at hand.

Geraldine Mochabela

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Geraldine was an ex-participant of Conquest For Life Youth At Risk Camps from Toekomsrus. She completed the program and started to volunteer her service at Conquest. She was than employed for a couple of years as a youth worker and showed commitment and dedication towards her work. She left Conquest For Life and started working at the Toekomsrus Department of Social Development. After a few years, she began working at the Provincial Office of The Department of Safety and Liaison in Gauteng. During her work, she completed her studies as a Social worker and at the same time perusing her own successful business in Catering and decorating. She brings to the board her skill as an employer and participant of conquest For Life.

Dorian Oliphant

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Having commenced his primary schooling in Riverlea at Wilhelmina Primary School, Dorian went on to complete his high schooling at Riverlea Senior Secondary where he matriculated in 1994. Dorian started his career in the banking sector directly after his schooling with the then Boland Bank and progressed in the ranks having held various positions at various banks including Peoples Bank and Nedbank. In 2006 after a successful career, Dorian left the banking sector to pursue business interest and simultaneously worked in other organisations using his experience gained in the banking sector. In addition to this and always having had a passion for people and law enforcement, Dorian has for the past (insert years) volunteered with SAPS as a reservist and has been assisting SAPS and the community in fighting crime. Currently, Dorian continues to conduct his business interests and holds a permanent position with the SAPS.

Lerati Moroeng

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Lerato comes from humble beginnings. Born and bred in Soweto she understands the struggles and plight of ordinary people like herself. She went to a Roman Catholic school for her primary education. In Matric her parents got divorced and she found herself coincidentally studying IT when there seemed to be no plan or a way for her. This experience left her feeling like her steps are ordered. So no matter what she faces in life, she always believes in the goodness of the Lord. She is a self-confessed philanthropist. She is hardworking and is a self-starter. After 18 years of having worked in the IT industry for big companies, she then left it all to start something for herself. She was then involved in the trucking business which opened access to contacts in minerals. She is now working on making a success of what she has learnt since she went out on her own.

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Donations

Direct Contributions can be made into the bank account

Bank: FNB
Acc Holder: Conquest for Life
Acc No: 62611 351769
Branch no: 252805
Swift Code: FIRNZAJJ

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contact details

Head Office: 66 Price Street, Newclare, Gauteng, South Africa 2093
Ennerdale Office: 49 Allie Crescent, Ennerdale Ext. 9, 1809
Soweto Office: 4088 Meadowlands, Zone 9, Soweto, 1852

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Our Legal Status
Conquest For Life is registered as the following:

- Section 21 Company/ Not for profit Company, Reg No: 1996 000027/08. In terms of the new companies act, the organisation is a Non Profit Company.

- With the Department of Social Services as o Not for Profit Organisation, Reg No: 005-415.

- With SARS as a registered section 18 Organisation, Reg No: 930 003 994 and as a Public Benefits Organization Reg No: RG/0243/08/04. In terms of this registration any member of the public “shall be allowed to be deducted from the taxable income of any taxpayer so much of the sum of any bonafide donations by that taxpayer in cash or of property made in kind was actually paid or transferred during the year of assessment.”

- Conquest For Life has an Exempted Micro Enterprise (EME) BBBEE LEVEL 4 status. All contributions “100% of your spend with this company can be counted as BEE spend.

 

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