The Company Directors

A,Dr Iraj Abedian

Dr Iraj Abedian

BA (Honours), MA (Economics) (University of Cape Town), PhD (Economics) (Simon Fraser University, Canada)
Independent Non-Executive Chairman

Date of appointment: December 2015

Iraj Abedian is the founder and Chief Executive of Pan-African Capital Holdings Proprietary Limited. He was Professor of Economics at the University of Cape Town, before joining Standard Bank Group in 2000 as Group Chief Economist. He obtained his BA (Honours) and MA in Economics from UCT. He received his PhD in Economics from Simon Fraser University in Canada in 1993. He was the founder and Director of the Applied Fiscal Research Centre (AFReC) at UCT and he has been a consultant on economic policy issues to public and private sector organisations in South Africa as well as internationally. His recent involvement in policy development in South Africa includes: The Transformation of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (1995), the RDP White Paper (1995), Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR 1996), Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), and the Presidential Review Commission (PRC 1997).

He is a prolific researcher and has written numerous articles and co-authored a number of books. Iraj is an honorary Professor of Economics at Graduate School of Business, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth. He is a member of the board of directors of Munich Re of Africa and serves as a member of the Advisory Board of the Auditor General of the South African Government.

B,Steven Brown

Steven Brown

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director 

Date of appointment: April 2016

Steven entered the property industry, after completing his articles, as a listed property analyst in 2008 for Corovest. Following this, Steven joined Standard Bank’s Global Markets division in the equity derivatives finance team and thereafter joined the South African real estate division focusing on structured lending and equity transactions.

From 2013, Steven has been involved with a number of listed real estate companies focusing on deal origination and structuring.

Steven joined Fortress from Capital Property Fund after the acquisition in December 2015.

D,Ian David Vorster

Ian David Vorster

BCom (Accounting) (Hons), CA(SA)
Chief Finance Officer and Financial Director

Date of appointment: December 2018

Ian completed articles at PKF (JHB) Inc and qualified as a CA(SA) in 2006. In 2007 he joined the PKF Corporate Division, where he was appointed a partner in 2009. In 2013, PKF merged with Grant Thornton Johannesburg and in 2015 he was appointed the Head of the Grant Thornton Corporate Finance Division where he managed a team of Chartered Accountants.

Ian also served on the Grant Thornton Executive Committee. He has extensive experience in due diligence investigations, valuations, fairness opinions – in terms of the Companies Act and the JSE – and Reporting Accountants’ work in respect of companies listed on the JSE.

E,Donnovan Stephen Pydigadu

Donnovan Stephen Pydigadu

BSc (Microbiology), BCom, BAcc, Senior Management Program, CA(SA)
Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director

Date of appointment: December 2018

Donnovan joined Fortress in April 2017 and has headed Fortress’ investor relations since early in 2018. He is a chartered accountant and spent several years in investment banking at Nedbank Corporate Property Finance and, before joining Fortress, was the co-founder of the Sanlam Real Estate Finance business unit within Sanlam Capital Markets.

F,Sipho Vuso (Vuso) Majija

Sipho Vuso (Vuso) Majija

Diploma in Civil Engineering, BSc (Hons) Property Studies, MBA (GIBS)
Director - Retail Portfolio

Date of appointment: May 2017

Vuso has been an employee of Fortress REIT Limited since its listing in 2009. Vuso has extensive experience in property and asset management of commercial, industrial and retail properties gained over a period of 13 years.

Vuso heads up Fortress’ retail portfolio and is responsible for all aspects of the portfolio, including developments, re-developments, extensions, national tenant relations, acquisitions and disposals.

Vuso obtained an MBA from the Gordon Institute of Business Science in 2016 and previously served on the board of Pangbourne Properties Limited (“Pangbourne”) as an alternate director. Most recently Vuso was appointed to the board of Nepi Rockcastle plc.

G,Djurk Peter Claudius Venter

Djurk Peter Claudius Venter

BCompt (Hons), CA(SA)
Independent Non-Executive Director

Date of appointment: October 2009

Djurk completed his articles at Ernst & Young and then joined the Department of Inland Revenue in the insurance and financial institution assessing division. In 1996, he started an audit practice and thereafter merged in January 2016 with Octagon Chartered Accountants.

In late 2017, Djurk resigned and formed another audit practice, Lighthouse CA. He was a non-executive director and chairperson of the audit committee of Diversified Property Fund.

H, Hermina (Ina) Christina Lopion

Hermina (Ina) Christina Lopion

BSc degree, Executive Development Programme
Independent Non-Executive Director

Date of appointment: January 2020

Ina has a BSc degree from Stellenbosch University and qualifications in executive leadership. She has an in-depth knowledge of the South African property market, gained over more than 28 years in the industry. She plays an active role in industry leadership and was a director of the South African Council of Shopping Centres. Ina was previously an executive director of Vukile Property Fund Limited and held various positions at Sanlam Properties and Gensec Property Services.

I,Tshiamo Daphne Matlapeng-Vilakazi

Tshiamo Daphne Matlapeng-Vilakazi

BA(SW), LLB, Certificate in Mining Prospecting (SA)
Independent Non-Executive Director

Date of appointment: December 2015

Tshiamo is a practising attorney, conveyancer and notary public with a Right of Appearance in the High Court of the Republic of South Africa. She was the legal consultant to Gauteng Provincial Government and the Department of Housing.

Tshiamo reviewed and vetted contracts concluded between the Gauteng Department of Housing and respective service providers. She has over 20 years’ experience in adjudication of housing disputes in former Urban Black, Coloured and Indian townships.

J,Robin Lockhart-Ross

Robin Lockhart-Ross

BCom, BComHons (Tax), MAcc, CA(SA)
Independent Non-Executive Director

Date of appointment: July 2018

Robin recently retired from Nedbank at the end of June 2018 where he was the Managing Executive of Nedbank CIB: Commercial Property Finance since November 2014. Prior to that Robin was Head of Credit for Nedbank Property Finance for 12 years since 2003, having previously been Head of Risk at BoE Corporate: Property & Asset Finance since 1999, during which period he also acted as Managing Executive of NBS Homeloans and as Chairman of Bond Choice mortgage originators.

Before moving into the banking industry, Robin had been financial director for eight years of Moreland Developments and Tongaat-Hulett Properties, the property management and development division of the Tongaat-Hulett Group, and prior to that the Group Tax Consultant for Tongaat-Hulett for three years.

In his capacity as ME of Nedbank Property Finance Robin chaired the Property Investment Committee and served as non-executive director of various investee and associate companies in Nedbank Property Partners.

K,Bongiwe Nomandi Njobe

Bongiwe Nomandi Njobe

MSc Agric Eng.
Independent Non-Executive Director

Date of appointment: June 2017

Bongiwe brings over 30 years’ experience in strategy, management, and policy practice in the agricultural and sustainability sectors in public, private and international development organisations. She was recently appointed Head: Social Investing at FirstRand Limited.

Bongiwe previously served as Director-General at South Africa’s National Department of Agriculture, Group Executive of Corporate Sustainability at Tiger Brands Limited and Corporate Affairs Director at the SABMiller plc subsidiary, South African Breweries Limited.

She also serves as a non-executive director on the boards of CIMMYT (International Maize and Wheat Research Institute), Rhodes Food Group and the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (“FARA”).

L,Jan Naude Potgieter

Jan Naude Potgieter

BCompt (Hons), CTA, CA(SA), Management Development Program (University of Michigan), Strategic Planning & Management in Retailing (Monash University Australia), Advanced Management Programme (INSEAD France)
Independent Non-Executive Director

Date of appointment: December 2015

Jan qualified as a chartered accountant doing his articles with PwC. He held various managerial positions early in his career including business manager at Clover SA and then seven years at various divisions of SABMiller in senior financial roles. In 2005, he was headhunted by Massmart to join their Massdiscounters team first as financial director then six years later as chief executive officer. He did consulting work and joined the Italtile group in 2014 as chief operating officer and then chief executive officer from December 2016. He also serves as an independent non-executive director on the board of Novus Holdings Limited.

M,Susan Melanie Ludolph

Susan Melanie Ludolph

B Com, B Acc, CA(SA)
Independent Non-Executive Director

Date of appointment: December 2018

Susan has played a driving role in business reporting in South Africa, Africa and internationally and is currently an independent member of the Discovery Health Medical Scheme audit and risk committee, as well as a judge for the PWC Building Public Trust Awards since 2014. Previously she was the Project Director: Financial Reporting for SAICA, co-founded The CFO Forum of South Africa, was the National Recruitment Partner for Deloitte & Touché as well as being the Dean of the Commerce Faculty and Director of Midrand Campus for Educor Limited.

Susan’s technical expertise is in IFRS, IFRS for SMEs and Headline Earnings. She established and implemented the strategy and work plan of South Africa’s first top 100 CFO Forum that guides, influences and leads on issues affecting CFOs and business.

N,Vuyiswa Reitumetse Mutshekwane

Vuyiswa Reitumetse Mutshekwane

B Com PPE (Politics, Philosophy & Economics), Certificate: Property Development & Investment
Independent Non-Executive Director

Date of appointment: December 2018

Vuyiswa is the chief executive officer of the South African Institute of Black Property Practitioners and in that role has been instrumental in driving key national property sector specific empowerment policies and programmes with a core focus on skills development and enterprise development. Vuyiswa also has extensive experience in retail, marketing and events management and strategy development.

In 2018 She was selected as one of 16 women globally to represent South Africa in the prestigious Fortune 500- US Department of State Global Women’s Mentoring Programme. She has also received numerous recognitions and been featured in, amongst others; the 2011 Destiny Magazine ‘Top 40 Under 40’ list, the 2017 Young Independents Top 100, and was a finalist for the Young Business Leader of the Year in the 2018 CNBC Africa All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA).