Council member profiles

Meet the members of the SATI Council.


Johan Blaauw: Chairperson



Johan Johan has worked as a language practitioner since 1979 (after teaching languages for a number of years), and worked at a parastatal  institution and for private sector companies before joining the North-West University (NWU) in 1995.

He works as a SATI-accredited translator, interpreter and language editor, as well as a trainer in all these fields, at the NWU and as a freelancer. He is currently the manager of the Language Directorate in the NWU's Institutional Office and is responsible for language services, language policy implementation and the educational interpreting service. He is also involved in research, has presented various conference papers locally and overseas, and has authored and co-authored a number of articles in accredited and other local and international journals and publications.

Johan was one of SATI’s first simultaneous interpreting accreditees and has been intimately involved in the testing for simultaneous interpreting accreditation. He has served on the SATI Executive since 1987, with a break between 2005 and 2009. He was previously secretary of the Institute, became vice-chair in 2009 and has served as chair since May 2013. His long involvement in the Institute is valuable in this role.

Eleanor Cornelius: Vice-chairperson


Eleanor has over 20 years' experience in the language profession. She worked as a language practitioner in the Office of the Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal (WAT) and the then State Language Services. She was also a lecturer in the Department of Afrikaans at the University of Fort Hare and a researcher at Vista University in Port Elizabeth. Eleanor was also responsible for establishing 11 lexicography units in her capacity as Deputy Director: Language Development with the Pan South African Language Board. Since 2001 she has been with the University of Johannesburg (UJ), where she is currently a senior lecturer and acting head of the Department of Linguistics.


Eleanor is an accredited simultaneous interpreter (Afrikaans-English/English-Afrikaans). She regularly interprets at conferences and other high-level events. She has published a range of articles in both accredited and non-accredited journals and presents papers at national and international congresses each year. She also regularly presents workshops on the use of plain language. Eleanor is responsible, among other things, for presenting modules in psycholinguistics, interpreting, editing and (legal) translation at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Eleanor obtained a doctorate in Applied Linguistics from UJ in 2012.


Eleanor has served on the SATI Council since June 2012, and in August 2014 she was elected to the Council of the International Federation of Translators.



Manzo Khulu: Council member


Manzo has a background in human resources management with some 30 years’ experience in the promotion of industrial communication in a cross-cultural environment in both South African and international manufacturing companies. After years of part-time translation and interpreting he became involved in the language practice field on a full-time basis in 2006 and now runs a successful freelance practice as a SATI-accredited translator. His passion is the promotion and development of South Africa’s indigenous official languages into fully-fledged domestic vehicles that meet the rigorous communication needs of the modern information-driven world, and he has represented the Institute on various occasions in this regard.

Manzo has been a member of the SATI Council since June 2009.


Thelma Kotzé: Council member


Thelma holds a BA Honours in Interpreting from the University of the Witwatersrand and has been an accredited SATI member since 2004.  She is a respected SASL interpreter with 20 years of professional experience. She has been extensively involved in the capacity-building of South African Sign Language interpreters through formal training and mentoring with the Deaf Federation of South Africa (DeafSA), UNISA, the University of the Witwatersrand and Wits Language School. 


A hard worker and dedicated achiever, Thelma manages SASLINC, a unique interpreting agency which provides SASL interpreter services, training, mentoring and specialised consultancy in South African Sign Language practitioner services. Her vibrancy and passion are rooted in ensuring equality for SASL interpreters based solely on merit, exceptional skills and quality as language service providers. She has solid expertise in business systems strengthening and organisational and human resource development.


Thelma was elected to the SATI Council in June 2015.



Marion Boers: Executive Director 



Marion began her career at the State Language Services, where she received a thorough grounding in translation and editing. After four years, she began a freelance practice in 1987. She is SATI accredited for English editing and translation into English from Afrikaans, French and German. She joined the SATI Executive in 1989 and served variously in the portfolios of freelance affairs, publications, secretary and treasurer. She began running a virtual office for the Institute alongside her private practice in 2000 and became executive director with the change of the constitution in 2009. She was elected president of the International Federation of Translators in August 2008 and served in that capacity for six years.






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