Stefaans Brümmer - Managing partner
Stefaans is an old hand at investigations. A politics and journalism graduate, he cut his reporting teeth at the Cape Argus in the tumultuous early 1990s; then joined the Mail & Guardian as democracy dawned in April 1994. For the next 16 years (a late-1990s diversion into television and freelancing apart), the M&G was his journalistic home and launch pad for award-winning investigations focusing on the nexus between politics and money. Stefaans has co-authored exposés including Oilgate, the Selebi affair, Chancellor House and significant breaks in the arms deal scandal. Stefaans and Sam Sole co-founded amaBhungane in 2010. He divides his time between the demands of media bureaucracy (which he detests), coaching members of the amaBhungane team, and his first love, digging for dung.
Sam Sole - Managing partner
Sam has been a journalist since 1986. He has worked for the investigative magazine noseweek, served as political editor of the Sunday Tribune, and joined the Mail & Guardian as investigative journalist in 2002. In 2003 he won the Vodacom Journalist of the Year award for first reporting the criminal investigation of then national deputy president Jacob Zuma. Together with colleague Stefaans Brümmer he has received numerous journalism awards, including for their Oilgate exposés that traced the involvement of an ANC-linked company in diverting money from a state contract to the coffers of the ruling party. Sam was instrumental in revealing the links between former police commissioner Jackie Selebi, slain mining magnate Brett Kebble and various figures from South Africa's underworld, including Glenn Agliotti. Together with Stefaans and Adriaan Basson they won the Taco Kuiper award in 2009 for sustained investigation of the notorious South African arms deal. Sam co-founded amaBhungane in 2010.
Drew Forrest - Associate partner
Drew is an associate partner of amaBhungane, responsible for overseeing its Johannesburg office and South African and southern African internship programmes. He also acts as amaBhungane's news editor and liaises with the Mail & Guardian on the centre's investigative agenda. A graduate of Wits University, Drew worked as an English and French teacher before entering journalism more than 30 years ago as The Star's labour reporter. He and has since worked on a range of publications in South Africa and Swaziland. Before joining amaBhungane in December 2011 he served the Mail & Guardian as national editor, business editor and political editor, and before that he worked as an assistant editor and political editor at Business Day. Married with two adult children, his non-journalistic interests include world music, African and European prehistory and cricket.
Vinayak Bhardwaj - Advocacy co-ordinator
Vinayak's abiding interest in advocacy work stems from his days as a student activist at university. Freedom of speech and by extension freedom of the press has been central to his activism. This led him to the Right2Know Campaign where his vuvuzela-blowing and sloganeering skills were less valued than his ability to read laws and court judgments. Thus after graduating with a Masters' in Chemical Engineering at UCT, he decided to take up the job of advocacy coordinator at amaBhungane where his passions for freedom of the press and increased transparency were sated. When he's not filing applications for information or studying various pieces of legislation, he's usually working at UCT Medical School or helping write science textbooks for high school students. He has also been involved in filming a documentary on protest theatre in Zimbabwe. In what spare time his schedule affords he's usually running or hiking.
Craig McKune - Investigator
Craig is a science graduate and former magazine editor who joined the Cape Times in Cape Town in 2008. There he broke investigations into a R112-million corruption case in the Northern Cape, 2010 Fifa World Cup ticketing operations, the University of Cape Town's use of wild-caught baboons for medical research and various investment swindles. Joining amaBhungane in 2011, Craig has unearthed complex state leasing scams, revealed how Julius Malema was able to dish out tenders to his friends, prised open Cape Town's mob scene, been a thorn in the side of presidential contenders and shown how a US investment fund financed Robert Mugabe's brutal electioneering in 2008. He was awarded at the CNN Multichoice African Journalist Awards 2012, a finalist in the 2012 Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Awards 2012 and commended in the Mondi Shanduka Newspaper Awards 2011.
Sally Evans - Investigator
A Wits Political Science Honours graduate with a predeliction for snowboarding, Sally began her media career at The Times in Johannesburg in 2008 per chance, when an internship turned into a full time job. Her beat was anything to do with hard news, which is how she got to cover the corruption trial of former police commissioner Jackie Selebi and the pseudo-trial of Glenn Agliotti for the murder of Brett Kebble. Realising that there was much more to most of the news stories than met the eye, Sally got bitten by the investigations bug, which led her to the ultimate investigations unit, amaBhungane, in January 2011. Since she joined last year, Sally has covered several areas, including the murky world of crime intelligence and former spy boss Richard Mdluli. Sally has also turned her attention to the state of education focusing specifically on the Department of Basic Education and the awarding of workbook and textbook tenders to private companies.
Lionel Faull - Investigator/web administrator
Lionel is a Masters graduate in English Literature from Rhodes University. He joined the Mail & Guardian internship programme in 2010 and made the transition to amaBhungane in 2011. Lionel exposed the Trifecta kickback scandal which led to the parliamentary censure of senior ANC MP Yolanda Botha as well as a criminal investigation into her affairs as well as those of her Northern Cape colleagues, including ANC provincial chairperson John Block. This investigation earned Lionel a place among the 6 finalists of the 2012 Taco Kuiper Investigative Journalism Award. He was a regional winner and national finalist in the Vodacom Journalist of the Year's Editor's Choice category in 2011. His main focus is on corrupt mega-deals and tenders, particularly in the mining and energy sectors.
Tabelo Timse - Political party funding correspondent
Tabelo is a BTech Journalism graduate from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. Her journalism career began as a TV reporter and radio current affairs producer at the SABC regional office in Port Elizabeth, but she later decided her passion was in print media. She participated in the Avusa graduate programme in then went on to work at The Herald and Weekend Post newspapers in Port Elizabeth as a general reporter. There, she exposed, prison warders smuggling weapons for inmates, municipal officials demanding bribes to award tenders and the tendency of dockets to go missing from police stations. After five years at The Herald, Tabelo covered the SADC region for Agence France-Presse (AFP). She joined amaBhungane in April 2012 as a political party-funding correspondent.
Olivia Vredenburg - general manager
Olivia has been involved with the Mail & Guardian since July 2001 and began by working for Central Media Distributors (Cape) cc as a finance administrator involved with the Western Cape circulation of the newspaper. The Western Cape operation became a national operation registered as Media Distribution Africa (Pty) Ltd in 2006 where she was elevated to Finance Manager and later Finance Director. Olivia also has a keen interest in human resource training and development and currently holds the position of GM: Finance and HR Development for MDA. She is also currently completing an internationally accredited diploma in coaching to facilitate achieving excellence in corporate performance and strategy areas. Wanting to further expand her knowledge and contribution to the success of the newspaper, Olivia accepted a part-time position as General manager with the amaBhungane investigative journalism team in January 2011.
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