Change the world

SPAR appoints Brett Botten as their new CEO

The retail group Spar has named Nelson Mandela University Alumnus, Brett Botten, as its new group CEO, with effect from March 2021. Brett who was born and raised in Uitenhage matriculated at Muir College in 1983. He is a qualified chartered acccountant and completed hi Chartered Accounting qualification at the former UPE in 1986.

He has been with the Spar group since 1994, serving as the MD Spar's South Rand division from 2010. He has previously been MD of the Spar North Rand, SPar Lowveld and Spar Eastern Cape divisions. The retail group, is listed on the JSE and is a member of Spar International which operates across 48 countries.

To quote former SA cricketer and Mandela University Alumnus, Tim Shaw (from his LinkedIn comment) "There is a golden thread which one can wave into life's tapestry. We all have one, yet in the challenge to embed it within society, it often loses its shine and mkes a difference. Well done, your journey from Port Elizabeth was destined to take you to Durban. Al the best as you move from success to significance at another level".

Brett is married to Lizelle, also a Nelson Mandela University Alumnus (former PE Technikon) and they have two children, Ross and Kelsey.

Nelson Mandela University Alumnus named one of 200 Mail & Gaurdian Young South Africans

Qinisani Qwabe, a Founder of Ubuntu AgriRenaissance and Researcher at Mangosuthu University of Technology is among 200 other young South Africans who are celebrated by the Mail & Gaurdian. He also founded Ubuntu AgriRenaissance organisation in 2019. The organisation focuses on knowledge and livelihoods development through improved agriculture, youth & community engagement ,research, as well as the promotion, protection and management of indigenous knowledge systems. Besides education, he says he is trying to restore hope through social entrepreneurship to the younger generation residing in the rural settings with AgriRenaissance.

His current project is on climate change, and he has identified two primary schools in the northern KwaZulu-Natal which agreed to be green campuses and they will be used to also promote climate consciousness.

New Director: ICT Services is Nelson Mandela University Alumnus

The University welcomes Mr Lubabalo Lokwe as its new Director: ICT Operations and Customer Service with effect from 1 September 2020.

The former head of ICT and Analytics for the National Skills Fund (NSF), brings a wealth of experience to this ICT Services portfolio, recently re-configured as part of the Organisational Redesign process to align its operations with the long-term strategy of the University.

Mr Lokwe is a senior IT professional with extensive public experience and a proven track record of applying appropriate technology solutions to meet business needs while minimising risks. 

His exceptional ability as a leader to solve problems and resolve technology issues, provide system enhancements and analyse business processes and implement successful automated solutions come in handy as ICT Services continues its efforts to enable the University to function safely in the midst of the pandemic.

Before joining the NSF in Pretoria where he oversaw the strategic deployment of ICT, Mr Lokwe worked for the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) in various capacities and at different locations, rising through the ranks to that of Senior Manager: Applications Support.

He has an MSc: Information Systems from the University of Roehampton in London and an MBA from the TUT Business School. He also has a BTech qualification Public Management and a National Diploma in Public Administration and Management from one of the Nelson Mandela University’s former institutions, the PE Technikon.

Acknowledged as a motivated individual with strong leadership and interpersonal skills, Mr Lokwe is eminently suited for the key customer relations aspect of the portfolio. The University looks forward to the value he will add and wishes him well in his new role.


Dr Mark Nasila, Nelson Mandela Alumnus is chosen to feature in big Innovators list.

One of our alumnus Dr Mark Nasila CAO-Chief Risk Office, FNB South Africa has been chosen to feature in the ‘2020 Global Top 100 Innovators in Data & Analytics’ list. Dr Nasila has BSc Hons (Mathematical Statistics)'07, MSc (Mathematical Statistics)'08  and a PhD (Mathematical Statistics)'13 all from the Nelson Mandela University.
Discover the full list here: