Our Team

Mariam Mayet

Executive Director & Board Member
Based In: Johannesburg
Phone: +27 (0)83 2694309

Mariam is the founder and director of the ACB. She has actively participated in several international negotiations including those culminating in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the Nagoya Protocol on Liability and Redress. She holds BA LLB, LLM degrees, from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg South Africa.


Vanessa Black

Chair and Board Member
Based In: Durban

Vanessa is a long-time volunteer of Earthlife Africa, and is currently the Chair of the Durban branch as well as the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance. She currently provides freelance support to a variety of environmental NGOs. She has Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of the Witwatersrand.


Thoko Makhanya

Board Member
Based In: KwaZulu Natal

Thoko is a retired nurse and grassroots activist focusing on promoting agroecology and supporting small scale farmers in the Kwazulu Natal area.


Million Belay

Board Member
Based In: Ethiopia

Dr. Million Belay is the Co-ordinator of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa and founder of MELCA, based in Ethiopia


John Wilson

Board Member
Based in: Zimbabwe

John Wilson was born and raised in Zimbabwe. He is an agroecokogy stalwart and works to strengthen local civil society in the field of sustainable agriculture.


Zakiyya Ismail

Consumer Campaigner
Based In: Johannesburg
Phone: +27 (0)83 273 7304

Zakiyya is the Consumer Campaigner for the ACB. Zakiyya monitors labelling of GM foods and consumers right to know and works on informing consumers on the GMOs in their food.


Gareth Jones


Based In: Johannesburg
Phone: +27 (0)81 493 4323

Gareth has been involved in ACB?s work on biosafety, corporate concentration in the food chain and seed and soil fertility in southern and eastern Africa. He holds an MSc in Globalisation and Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.


Haidee Swanby

Researcher and Outreach Officer
Based In: Cape Town
Phone: +27 (0)82 459 8548

Haidee has worked in media, research and advocacy for more than a decade with African organisations and networks that are building agricultural systems with smallholder producers at their centre. She holds a BA in Journalism and an Honours degree in Psychology.


Stephen Greenberg

Based In: Johannesburg

Stephen co-ordinates ACB’s research project on food sovereignty, seed and soil fertility in southern and eastern Africa. He was awarded a PhD in Development Studies in 2011.


Sabrina Nafisa Masiinjila

Outreach and Advocacy Officer
Based In: Tanzania

Sabrina’s focus is on ACB’s East African work. It involves campaigning, networking and advocacy around biosafety, seed, food sovereignty and farmer’s rights, this through liaising with ACB’s partners in the region.


Virnen Naidoo

Administration Officer
Based In: Johannesburg
Phone: +27 (0)11 486 2701

Virnen is ACB’s office administrator and maintains the financial records of the organisation.


Hettie Dreyer

Accounting Officer
Based In: Johannesburg

Hettie is a Tax and Accounting Practitioner with 35 years of experience in business and international accounting, especially in Non-Profitable Organisations.