The Spotlight Team


Russell Pollitt SJ
Director of the Jesuit Institute South Africa and Editor-in-Chief of He studied the social sciences, theology and communications. He worked as pastor of the Jesuit’s downtown parish in Johannesburg, South Africa, for 7 years before moving to the Jesuit Institute. He is interested in the relationship between faith and society and the contribution that faith can make to public policy. He regularly comments on politics in South Africa and issues in the Catholic Church. He conducts workshops in South Africa on social media and the human person.
Sarah-Leah Pimentel
Sarah-Leah is Acting Editor of Johannesburg-born and raised, she now lives and is inspired by the ocean in Cape Town. She is a former English and Maths teacher and worked for 10 years as a media analyst and translator. She recently teamed up with some great minds to start a new company that uses human-human augmentation to draw insights from open source information in a world of media and data overload, thereby enabling public and private entities better monitor and respond to political and security risks. A lifelong Catholic, the Church's social teaching is both a challenge and inspiration to her. She also writes a monthly column in The Southern Cross.
Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya
Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya is an independent journalist and former editor of The Mercury, The Witness and Sowetan and a senior journalist at many other mainstream South African newspapers. At present, he is working as Associate Editor on
Claire Mathieson
Writer, editor and knowledge management specialist, Claire has worked in both traditional and Catholic media spaces. She balances her time between providing strategic communications and knowledge management in the world of climate change and sustainable development and working as Associate Editor on
Matthew Charlesworth SJ
Matthew Charlesworth studied information systems and management at Rhodes University for several years before entering the Society of Jesus in 2005. After studies in London, Nairobi and Toronto he was ordained and ministered at Holy Trinity Parish in Braamfontein before joining the staff of and the Jesuit Institute. He is responsible for the website and technical aspects of and occasionally finds time to write on Church issues.


Alyssa Kardos
Alyssa Kardos is a third year student at Georgetown University, studying global health and theology. She is originally from California, but now resides in Washington, DC. When she's not studying she is working part-time at the university preschool, competing with the Model United Nations team and dreaming of her future travels.
Annemarie Paulin-Campbell
A freethinker with an independent mind, Dr Annemarie Paulin-Campbell currently heads up the Jesuit Institute School of Spirituality (JISS). Annemarie is a Catholic laywoman who has studied and worked in the area of Christian Spirituality for the past 16 years doing spiritual direction and retreat work, and training spiritual directors in the Ignatian tradition. Her particular focus is the training and supervision of spiritual directors and retreat givers. A related area of interest is in the interface between Christian Spirituality and Psychology. Annemarie's doctoral research is on "The impact of imaginal and dialogical processes on shifts in image of self and image of God in women making the Spiritual Exercises as a 19th Annotation Retreat." Annemarie is also a registered psychologist (and life coach), and has worked in particular in the areas of trauma counselling and community psychology.
Anthony Aduaka SJ
A freethinker with an independent mind, Anthony is a Jesuit Scholastic from Nigeria who is currently studying theology at Hekima University College in Nairobi, Kenya. Prior to joining the Jesuits, he studied Computer Science and Mathematics and has since completed a degree in Philosophy at Arrupe Jesuit University in Harare, Zimbabwe. Anthony has an interest in reinterpreting the African culture and tradition, history, politics and gender related issues from a perspective that is more humanistic rather than reactionary. He enjoys conversation around these topics.
Anthony Egan SJ
Anthony Egan is a Jesuit priest who works at the Jesuit Institute South Africa. He teaches at Steve Biko Ethics Centre Faculty of Health Sciences at WITS University. He also teaches in the Ubuntu Programme for Fordham University at the University of Pretoria. He writes for various journals and publications and regularly offers analysis and comment on politics and the Catholic Church.
Cameron Upchurch
Cameron Upchurch was born in London and grew up in KwaZulu-Natal. He holds a Master’s Degree in Music and is the Director of Music at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Braamfontein, Johannesburg and a full-time member of the music staff at St John’s College in Houghton.
Bryan Massingale
Bryan Massingale, S.T.D. is a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and professor of theology at Fordham University in New York. Former president of the Catholic Theological Society of America, Fr. Massingale has authored two books and more than eighty articles, book chapters, and book reviews. His monograph, Racial Justice and the Catholic Church (2010), received a First Place Book Award from the Catholic Press Association of the U.S. and Canada. Massingale has served as a consultant to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, providing theological assistance on issues such as criminal justice, capital punishment, environmental justice, and affirmative action. He has also been a theological consultant for the National Black Catholic Congress, Catholic Charities USA, the Catholic Health Association and the National Catholic AIDS Network.
Cathy Murugan HFS
A Holy Family Sister presently working at the Denis Hurley Centre in Durban as a social worker and coordinating the Nkosinathi Project.
Chris Chatteris SJ
Chris Chatteris is a Jesuit priest who is the handyman at the Seminary in Cape Town, combining the tradition of the ‘worker priest’ with teaching and spiritual direction of seminarians. On the handyman side his current project is to ‘green’ the seminary and he has installed such things as heat pumps, rain tanks and recycling systems. He does some writing, last year authoring a book entitled Vocations and what to do with them, a handbook for vocations directors. He also writes a monthly column for the Southern Cross reflecting on the Pope’s intentions, plus occasional other articles elsewhere. Chris was born in Zambia and went to Jesuit schools in both Zimbabwe and Britain and, having been unable to beat them, joined them in 1968. He studied philosophy, theology, French and education, and spent a very formative time in France, part of which was at the L’Arche Community of Jean Vanier fame. Chris has taught in French and British schools and worked in British and South African parishes, including a mission in KZN at the time of the transition from apartheid to normality. He has also worked as the novice director of Jesuits, in the theological formation of young religious at St Joseph’s Theological Institute, Cedara and, briefly, at the Jesuit Institute.
Chris Moerdyk
Chris Moerdyk is the former chairman of the board of The Southern Cross newspaper and has served on the boards of a number of charitable organisations. Chris started life as a journalist and continues to write today. He is the author of several books and is now semi-retired and living in Simon’s Town in the Western Cape.
Chris Townsend
Chris Townsend is a diocesan priest from Johannesburg but now lives in and is Parish Priest of Christ the King Catholic Church in Queenswood, Tshwane. Ordained in 2000, he writes and broadcasts, focusing on Catechetics, Pastoral Practice and professional conduct.
Danielle Hoffmeester
Danielle Hoffmeester is a Masters candidate in Political Studies at the University of the Western Cape. Until two years ago, her focus centred on issues of security and democracy, in particular how the use and/or threat of weapons of warfare impact on the stability of established and fledgling democracies. Since, her focus has shifted to political violence and gender studies. She currently acts as the Project Assistant for Gender Justice and Reconciliation at the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation in Cape Town, South Africa. She is a proud feminist, and dreams of a global society in which feminist ideals of justice, freedom and equality is realised.
Douglas Irvine
Emeritus Professor of Political Studies at the University of Natal (now UKZN). Chair of the Justice and Peace Commission in the Archdiocese of Durban from 1970–1984. Gauteng Coordinator of We are All Church South Africa (WAACSA)
Festo Mkenda SJ
Festo Mkenda is a Jesuit from the East African Province. He obtained his DPhil from Campion Hall, University of Oxford, specializing in African political history. He is currently working in Nairobi, Kenya, where he is director of the Jesuit Historical Institute of Africa (JHIA).
Frank Tuson
Francis John Tuson grew up in Johannesburg and was exposed to Ignatian themes from a young age through his family’s involvement with Christian Life Communities (CLC). He attended De La Salle Holy Cross College for his initial schooling and then was home schooled before returning to De La Salle for his matric year. After trying both Music and Law at the University of the Witwatersrand, he studied Post-Production sound engineering at the Academy of Sound Engineering. Before joining the Jesuit Institute, Francis worked variously, as a dubbing engineer, a sound designer, and a final mix engineer – working on a variety of projects, with a many different languages from around the world including; Mandarin, Kiswahili, Portuguese, Hindi, Hausa, French and Zulu. In his free time, Francis enjoys extreme sports,hiking, and playing music.
Frances Correia
Frances Correia has worked as a spiritual director in the Ignatian tradition for the last 20 years. She is a lay Catholic, married with children.
Graham Wilson
Graham Wilson is the Financial Administrator of the Archdiocese of Cape Town. He has worked in NGO and Church finances for 26 years, is a trustee on a number of charitable trusts and has qualifications in computer science, Christian spirituality and business administration.
Francis Anyanzu SJ
Francis is a Jesuit priest of the Eastern Africa Province. He was born in Uganda and is at present researching migration at the University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg. He holds a master's degree in Development Studies from the University of Sussex in the UK, where he researched the informal livelihoods of urban refugees in Uganda. Previously, he lived in Khartoum, Sudan where he worked serving internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Darfur and the Congolese refugee community.
Günther Simmermacher
Günther Simmermacher is the editor of The Southern Cross, South Africa’s national Catholic weekly ( He is writing here in his personal capacity.
Grant Tungay SJ
Grant Tungay SJ grew up in Johannesburg and studied law in Cape Town before joining the Society of Jesus in 2007. His studies in the Society include philosophy in London and human rights law at Wits University in Johannesburg. He worked for the Jesuit Institute before moving to France where he is currently studying theology at Centre Sèvres in Paris.
Gushwell Brooks
Gushwell F. Brooks is the Communications Coordinator at the South African Human Rights Commission (Commission or SAHRC). Prior to this he worked as the Communications Officer for Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Southern Africa Region. He has a passion for social justice and harnessing media as an effective tool in for the protection and advancement of human rights. A law graduate but never went on to practice as an attorney. After what can only be described as a serendipitous twist of fate, he found his new life as a talk show host for Radio 702 and also as a columnist and reporter for Daily Maverick. Gushwell and his wife, Regina, share three amazing but busy children and have started their own comic book publishing company with multiple titles ready to launch into the mainstream retail market.
Institute for Justice and Reconciliation
The Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) was launched in the year 2000, in the wake of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to ensure that lessons learnt from SA´s transition from apartheid to democracy were taken into account as the nation moved ahead. The Institute helps to build fair, inclusive and democratic societies in Africa through carefully selected engagements and interventions. It contributes to post-conflict stability, good governance and human security through programmes that promote political reconciliation and social and economic justice across Africa. IJR’s work is increasingly relevant to other global post-conflict societies and the 2017–2020 strategy builds on the organisation’s experience and strengths, to engage in a multi-faceted way on issues of justice and reconciliation.
Janine Scott-dos Santos
Janine is a wife and a mom of a superhero boy with autism. She also runs a small HR business. While she has grown up in the Church, her faith has not come without its questions. She'll explore some of these questions through this platform.
Jean Amegble SJ
Jean Amegble SJ is a Jesuit from Togo and a blogger who is currently studying theology at Hekima College in Nairobi. He has previously studied philosophy and psychology and earned a Masters degree in Political Science. He is interested in intercultural exchange and international relations between China and Africa. He uses social media to empower young people to be the change they want to see in the world.
Joanne Joseph
Joanne presents the 4pm-6pm Afternoon News slot on 24-hour news channel, eNCA. She is also the presenter of current affairs radio show, The Power Update on Power FM. Prior to this she was the main anchor and a bulletin writer on SABC 3’s News at 7. She began her career at YFM radio as a news presenter radio in 1998. Following that, she worked at Classic FM, Network Radio News and Business Day as a producer/ presenter. In 1999, she moved into television, taking up the position of producer/presenter at SABC Africa. Joanne has scripted several corporate videos for clients like Afrox and produced documentaries for the United Nations Development Programme among others. She has done several high-profile live broadcasts including the live coverage of Nelson Mandela’s passing broadcast internationally, Thabo Mbeki’s presidential inauguration, the Walter Sisulu and Beyers Naudé funerals. Joanne regularly MCs corporate functions in English and French and has presented corporate videos for Life Healthcare, SAPPI, First National Bank, Standard Bank, MTN and PG Glass among others. As a media trainer, her clients included IBM, Pikitup, Ford, Renault and Gauteng Tourism. Joanne teaches scriptwriting for broadcast media and has a Bachelor’s degree in Drama, Film and English, and an Honours and Master’s Degree in Modern Languages and Literatures from Wits University. She is the author of bestselling novel, Drug Muled, Sixteen Years in a Thai Prison.
John Baldovin SJ
Professor of Historical & Liturgical Theology at the Boston College School of Theology & Ministry where he teaches liturgy and sacraments.
José-Luís Ponce de León IMC
José-Luís Ponce de León IMC is bishop of the Diocese of Manzini, Swaziland. Argentinian by birth, for many years he worked as a missionary in rural Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. After working at the Consolata Missionary's General House in Rome, he returned to South Africa and was ordained bishop of Ingwavuma in 2008. In 2013 he was appointed bishop of Manzini.
Justine Limpitlaw
Justine is an electronic communications law consultant, visiting adjunct professor at the LINK Centre, Wits University and chair of the SOS Support Public Broadcasting Coalition’s legal sub-committee.
Kyoko Morgan
Born in Tokyo, Kyoko Morgan was inspired to move to South Africa after time spent in the UK. She became a UNISA student and worked for a small Japanese NGO before finding her true calling in teaching origami to disadvantaged children. She founded Origami For Africa in 2009 for promoting and teaching origami in Africa. Based in Clovelly, she regularly teaches origami to children in Wesbank and Khayelitsha, which has been found to be beneficial especially for early childhood development. She occasionally gives workshops and talks on origami. Her passion is working together with other people towards the vision of a better world by transforming our own lives.
Lawrence Mduduzi Ndlovu
A Diepkloof, Soweto born Catholic Cleric, writer, poet and speaker. As a writer he has contributed for several publications including The Daily Maverick, The Thinker, The Southern Cross and The South African. Lawrence read philosophy and theology at St John Vianney Seminary Pretoria, Heythrop College, University of London and the Bellarmine Institute in London. He is a trustee of the St Augustine Education Foundation Trust and an Advisory Council Member of the Southern Cross Weekly.
Luís Corrêa Lima SJ
Luís Corrêa Lima is Jesuit priest, theologian, lecturer and researcher at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil (PUC-Rio) and pastor to the LGBT community in Rio de Janeiro. He was instrumental in the creation of Diversidade Católica, a Brazilian organisation for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning Catholics.
Martin Mkoba SJ
Martin Mkoba is a Jesuit scholastic from Arusha, Tanzania, currently completing his theological studies at Hekima College in Nairobi, Kenya. Prior to this he worked as Dean of Studies and as a teacher at Loyola Secondary School in Wau, South Sudan. He has completed philosophy studies at Arrupe Jesuit University in Harare, Zimbabwe. His interests include social justice, African culture and good governance.
Michaela van Nierop
Michaela is currently a student at the University of Stellenbosch studying for a BCom in Economics and Investment Management. She grew up in Johannesburg in a Catholic family. Her passion is helping people who are struggling with mental health problems or those who are having emotional difficulties.
Mike Batley
Mike is from Pretoria, South Africa. In 2001 he co-founded and has since directed the Restorative Justice Centre (RJC), a vibrant and multi-cultural civil society organisation. Within this context he played a pioneering role in bringing restorative justice into the criminal justice system and public discourse, and in developing associated services. He was recognised as an Ashoka Fellow for this work.
He has published several book chapters and journal articles on restorative justice which have also been quoted in 2 South African High Court judgments as well as 1 Constitutional Court judgment. He was part of the group of experts that reviewed the UN Basic Guidelines for Restorative Justice in November 2017.
Mike is a registered social worker with over 30 years’ experience in the public and private sectors. He also holds an MPhil in Applied Ethics and is an accredited mediator.
He is committed to the vision of building an ethical society and works as an independent practitioner in the areas of ethics, moral education, conflict transformation and wellness. For more information see
Mike Pothier
Mike Pothier is an advocate of the High Court of South Africa, and Programme Manager of the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office (CPLO) in Cape Town.
Mikhail Petersen
Mikhail Petersen holds a degree in Social Science, specialising in politics and economic history, as well as an LLB from the University of Cape Town. Mikhail is an intern within the Sustained Dialogue Programme at the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, based in Cape Town.
Mphuthumi Ntabeni
Mphuthumi Ntabeni lives in Cape Town where he is a political commentator and writer. He writers for the Southern Cross and his book, The Broken River Tent is published by Black Back Book, an imprint of Jacana Books, in early 2018.
Nicholas King SJ
A Jesuit priest of the British Province, who taught for many years in South Africa, at St Joseph Theological Institute in Cedara, KZN and at St John Vianney Seminary in Pretoria. He was there for the most interesting piece of the history of the country and had the privilege of being a District Observer for seven voting stations in the Natal Midlands on that never-to-be-forgotten day of our first democratic elections. Since then he has been teaching New Testament at Oxford University; he taught briefly also at Boston College and St Mary’s Twickenham, and finally at Heythrop College before it closed. Now he has returned to Oxford as Assistant Catholic Chaplain and is also the Delegate for Formation for the Jesuits in Britain. In recent years he has published a translation of the entire Bible from the Greek — and one or two other volumes.
Paul Trewhela
Born in Johannesburg in 1941, Paul Trewhela worked in underground journalism with Ruth First and edited the underground journal of MK, Freedom Fighter, during the Rivonia Trial. He was a political prisoner in Pretoria and the Johannesburg Fort as a member of the Communist Party in 1964–1967, separating from the SACP while in prison. In exile in Britain he was co-editor with the late Baruch Hirson of Searchlight South Africa, banned in South Africa.
Paulina French
Paulina is a Chartered Accountant who spent a number of years working for an international auditing firm and with a major retail bank. She is married with two daughters. On the birth of her second daughter she left the corporate world and became a full time mom. She spent a few years doing some consulting work and until recently worked at the Jesuit Institute.
Peter John Moses
Born and bred on the Cape Flats, Peter John is a social commentator, writer and a well known ultra runner in the Western Cape. He is a proud father to two boys.
Peter-John Pearson
Peter-John Pearson is a priest of the Archdiocese of Cape Town. He is currently the director of the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office (CPLO) in Cape Town. He is also Vicar-General of the Archdiocese. Fr Pearson is a well-know lecturer and speaker - specifically on Catholic Social Teaching.
Puleng Matsaneng
Puleng Matsaneng works at the Jesuit Institute where she spearheads work in Ignatian Spirituality in the African context. She is keen to understand how African themes and practices dialogue with Western traditions, and how these can be interpreted in relation to Ignatian Spirituality in a way that makes it relevant to an African way of living.
Rampeoane Hlobo SJ
Rampeoane Hlobo SJ is a Jesuit priest working at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Nyanga, Cape Town. Born and bred in Orlando, Soweto, he spent a number of years studying Social Sciences, Philosophy, Forced Migration and Theology. After his ordination, Rampe worked at Holy Trinity parish in downtown Johannesburg. He has also worked with both Internally Displaced People (IDPs) and urban refugees in Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) projects in South Sudan, Northern Uganda, London and South Africa. He is currently a member of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference (SACBC) Migration group and the Africa representative in the Global Ignatian Advocacy Network (GIAN) Migration group.
Ranjeni Munusamy
Ranjeni Munusamy is one of South Africa's top-notch political journalists. She is well-known for her sharp and insightful analysis and commentary on local and international politics. Raised in Dannhauser in northern KwaZulu-Natal, her journalistic pursuits brought her to Johannesburg. She is currently working as associate editor for the Tiso Blackstar Group.
Ricardo da Silva SJ
Ricardo was born in Coimbra, Portugal; immigrating to Johannesburg, South Africa with his mother at the age of six. After school, he enjoyed a career in marketing, communications and brand management before joining the Jesuits in 2007. He has studied communications in South Africa, philosophy in the UK and theology in Brazil. Passionate about liturgical music, media and ethics and takes especial delight in good company and food. As a Jesuit, he has ministered in many different contexts: the elderly, high school and university students, refugees, migrants and the homeless.
Sefatso Qopane
Sefatsa is an alumnus of St Joseph’s Theological Institute at Cedara–KZN and the University of the Free State. He is an associate of The Narrative Enneagram (TNE) institute. He occupies his time working in the spheres of personality and the psychology of difference – both are subjects for which he holds a great passion. He also enjoys all sorts of theological debate in promotion of religion. Sefatsa lives in Pietermaritzburg.
Shrikant Peters
Shrikant Peters is a medical doctor and lecturer, specialising in Public Health Medicine at the Western Cape Department of Health and the University of Cape Town. He holds a BA in Politics, Philosophy & Economics from the University of South Africa. He has worked at Addington, Mahatma Gandhi, Eerste River and Hillbrow Hospitals. He has a special interest in the improvement of quality in the public healthcare sector and writes in his personal capacity. He is a practicing Catholic (but could always use some more practice).
Stan Muyebe OP
Stan Muyebe OP is the Provincial for the Dominican Order in Southern Africa. He directs the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference Justice and Peace Commission. He also serves as an associate researcher both at the University of Pretoria and Domuni University. As a human rights activist and anti-corruption activist, he was involved as a complainant in the State Capture Inquiry which was conducted by Advocate Thuli Madonsela.
Stephan de Beer
Stephan de Beer is an urban theologian focusing on issues of faith in the city, and, more specifically, concerns himself with homelessness, housing and spatial justice. He directs the Centre for Contextual Ministry at the University of Pretoria and is Associate Professor in Practical Theology at the University of Pretoria. Before joining the University, he worked in an ecumenical faith-based organisation in the inner city of Pretoria, creating social and housing infrastructure in response to, and in partnership with, some of the city's most vulnerable communities (for other publications, see
Susan Rakoczy IHM
Susan Rakoczy IHM belongs to the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She is a professor of theology at St Joseph’s Theological Institute, Cedara, and the University of Kwazulu-Natal. She studied Christian Spirituality at Fordham University in New York as well as at the Catholic University of America in DC. She has published extensively, including "In Her name: Women doing Theology” and “Great Mystics and Social Justice: Walking on the Two Feet of Love”. She is also a regular contributor to theological and spiritual journals.
Tim Harris
Tim Harris, husband, father and trained graphic designer is currently exploring furniture design alongside his other passion: Catholic Leadership development. He is the co-founder of The Catholic Leadership Academy which is a response the need to reveal, equip and support lay Catholic Leaders. After meeting Christ as a 20 something, he found himself deeply involved in volunteer youth ministry in his Cape Town parish. This lead to the choice to leave the advertising industry and take up the first paid youth ministry coordinator role at that same parish. After implementing the Lifeteen program, and three successful years of service, The Catholic leadership Academy was founded in 2014. Three words to describe Tim; Catholic, Creative, Clueless.
Vincent Nchimunya SJ
A Broadcasting Journalist brought up in Zambia. I Studied Philosophy, Journalism and Public relations. Had a stint in the broadcasting field for a couple of years prior to and after philosophical studies. Currently, I am pursuing theological studies in Kenya.
Zandile Ndamane
Zandile hails from Khayelitsha, Cape Town where she lives with her mother, sister and handicapped brother. Equipped with a matric, Zandile is a typical South African youth seeking work or further studying opportunities. She writes about her personal experiences.

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