DFA’s leadership team consists of experts from a diverse range of fields and backgrounds. Each of our executive committee members are leaders in their spheres of influence and come with a wealth of knowledge and experience. They bring this to bear in everything we do and in how we proceed as a business. One thing that our leaders all have in common is that we are passionate about developing telecommunications in South Africa, while uplifting and empowering local communities.
Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer
Thinus obtained a BCom Accounting Honours degree and a Certificate in the Theory of Accounting from the University of Pretoria in 1989. After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant at PricewaterhouseCoopers in 1992, Thinus has held various top positions with SARS, Standard Bank, and the JSE-listed AST Group, where he was the Financial Director. In 2005, he joined the Imperial Group as Financial Director of the Lindsay Saker Group and became Managing Director two years later. He was also a member of the main board of the Imperial Motor Division and served on a number of Audit Committees in the Imperial Group, including the Regent Insurance Group. He joined DFA in 2008.
Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer
As Chief Financial Officer, Cilliers plays a key role in developing and implementing DFA’s financial strategy, analysis, and forecasting. He is also responsible for overseeing internal control systems to manage financial risk and leads DFA’s merger and acquisition activities. Cilliers has a long-standing relationship with DFA, having been with Community Investment Ventures Holdings (CIVH), of which DFA is a subsidiary, for 17 years – first as CFO and then as CEO.
A CA(SA) who obtained his BCompt Accounting Honours and Certificate in the Theory of Accountancy at Unisa, Cilliers’s financial career spans 26 years. During his tenure at CIVH, he was accountable for financial management, investment analysis, strategic management, and group restructuring, among other responsibilities. Cilliers’s employment history also includes Manager: Corporate Finance at manufacturing and mining company Iscor Limited and Financial Advisor: Tax Planning and Structures at Denel, a corporate holding company.
Executive Director and Chief Strategy Officer
As Chief Strategy Officer at DFA, Reshaad is responsible for corporate strategy, long-term business planning, stakeholder management, sales, and marketing. Reshaad is a strategist by nature who challenges the conventional approach of achieving success both personally and professionally.
He has held various director-level positions primarily in the telecommunications industry, which afforded him the opportunity to work closely with many leading telecommunications operators in the USA, South Africa, across the Middle-East and Africa, Russia, Turkey, and South East Asia. Reshaad has participated in more than one successful continental start-up business where he has gained significant experience in developing and executing on a business strategy.
He has fulfilled various executive roles which included Managing Director of a wholesale voice termination company headquartered in Singapore and Director of Strategy at Cisco where he advised governments and telecommunications operators across the emerging markets. Prior to Cisco, Reshaad worked at Lifetree as Managing Director for the Middle-East, Africa, and Indian Ocean Islands and as Telco Services Director at Protek and LogicaCMG that have all played major roles in the telecommunications OSS and BSS environments across the Middle East and Africa.
Chief Information Officer
With seventeen years of experience, Mmakgosi is currently responsible for the development and execution of IT strategy that supports DFA’s business strategy and growth goals. She is also engaged in analysing, identifying, and re-engineering existing business processes, developing new tools, and reshaping the current enterprise infrastructure and IT governance frameworks. In addition, during her brief tenure at DFA, Mmakgosi has already been instrumental in overseeing the development and maintenance of DFA’s IT architecture in terms of business support systems, user support, information, applications, technology, and data.
Mmakgosi joined DFA in 2015, having previously served various roles at parastatals and government institutions, such as the State Information Technology Agency (SITA), Gauteng Department of Health, and the South African Post Office. Within SITA, she mastered a variety of skills, from monitoring financial performance to the developing strategic relationships and creating an ICT service delivery strategic plan. Prior to working at SITA, she had acquired technical knowledge of installing, customizing, and maintaining storage management software, as well as managing system backups which led to her subsequent strategic roles.
Mmakgosi graduated in 2006 with a Master of Business Leadership (MBL) from the University of South Africa. She also holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree from the University of Durban Westville and a Diploma in Structured Computing. In addition, she is currently completing a Masters in Information Technology (MIT) at the University of Pretoria.
Chief Sales and Marketing Officer
Praveen holds a BSc Electronic Engineering and an MBA from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He has 15 years of extensive ICT experience, spanning telecommunication networks, networking, software, hardware, consulting, and professional services.
He has had ample exposure to turnkey project delivery and that enabled him to get involved in multiple aspects of business, including the development of relationships with major OEM partners, negotiations across the value chain, and exposure to the delivery capabilities of the companies.
Praveen’s most recent roles in senior management include Communications Sector Consulting Lead at IBM, Software Country Manager at HP, and Regional Sales Manager at Cisco. He has also worked for several other multinationals, including Siemens, Alcatel, and Speech Design. He joined DFA in 2016 to head up the sales and client marketing functions.
Chief Technical Officer
Andreas’s extensive knowledge and experience, which spans 32 years, has allowed him to advance in fixed line networks, mobile networks, microwave technology, satellite technology, and copper and fibre networks. As the Chief Technical Officer of DFA, Andreas is the authoritative figure behind technology selection, network architecture, client advice, layered network solutions, and capital projects.
Andreas qualified as an electrical engineer specialising in light current in 1986. He also completed an Advanced Executive Programme (AEP) at the Unisa Graduate School of Business Leadership and obtained a Diploma in Project Management via Executive Training underwritten by Dover University.
Prior to working at DFA, Andreas served a 13-year tenure at Telkom in various roles within the Transmission Division. He then joined Vodacom in 1994 and later headed the Transmission Division as the Managing Executive of Transport Networks until 2012, before taking up his present role as Chief Technical Officer at DFA.
Chief Human Resources Officer
Portia has extensive HR experience spanning a career of close to 17 years in the field. She was a lecturer at the Vaal University of Technology, an HR specialist at Whirlpool SA, an HR manager at SPAR South Rand Distribution Centre, and most recently, Head of HR for the Africa region at global power management company Eaton.
Her qualifications include a BTech in HR Management, Business, Management, Marketing, and related support services, an MBA from the University of South Africa, and a Masters in Management Coaching from the University of Stellenbosch.
Johan van Deventer
Group Head: Legal and Corporate
With a focus on Commercial Law and Litigation, Johan’s career spans 43 years to date. Following from the completion of a BCom in Law, LLB at the University of Stellenbosch, he served his articles at Couzyn Hertzog and Horak between 1968 and 1969. From there, he served on a number of Boards of listed and unlisted companies as well as state-owned enterprises.
Johan’s role at DFA is twofold. From a legal standpoint, his responsibility is to protect DFA’s interests in contracts and litigation. He is also the Company Secretary and serves as the guardian of corporate governance, which is his true passion. Other career highlights included roles such as the Presiding Officer of the Revision Court in Pretoria for the first local government elections in 1995, Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee for the City Council of Pretoria, the Chair of the Disciplinary Tribunal for SARS (South African Revenue Service) as well as his premier position as Acting Judge of the High Court of South Africa, North Gauteng.
Company Secretary and Executive: Legal and Corporate
Tamryne holds an LLB from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She is an admitted attorney, conveyancer, and notary public in the High Court of South Africa. She has completed, among other qualifications, the Unisa Advanced Certificate in Corporate and Securities Law, Unisa Programme in Business Management, and courses at the Compliance Institute of South Africa. She is in the process of completing her final board examination at the Institute of Chartered Secretaries.
She practiced for many years as Professional Assistant of Hulley & Associates, and in 2012 moved into the ICT industry as the Legal, Compliance, and Regulatory Officer of Allied Technologies Limited before being promoted to Group Legal Compliance Manager of the JSE listed Allied Electronics Limited. After dipping her toes into the logistics industry as Group Legal Manager of Rohlig-Grindrod, she returned to the ICT sector in 2016 as Executive: Legal and Corporate at DFA. In April 2017 Tamryne’s portfolio as Executive: Legal and Corporate was extended to Company Secretary of DFA.
Tamryne’s experience includes litigation and commercial law, compliance, company secretarial matters, and various major broadband-connectivity-related transactions with provincial government entities.