Zenariah Barends


Diploma in Library and Information Science and BA (Honours) from the University of the Western Cape.

Appointed: 14 November 2014

Nationality: South African

Expertise and experience:

Ms Barends is the chairperson, trustee and board member of a number of civil society institutions including Inyathelo: The South African Institute for Advancement. She has a long history of involvement in arts and culture through the Cape Cultural Collective as well as a strong track record in human rights activism.

She served as the Western Cape Head of Investigations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, chaired by Nobel Laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

In her current portfolio, Ms Barends is chief of staff at Independent Media (Pty) Ltd. She was appointed as a senior executive at Sekunjalo Investment Holdings (Pty) Ltd in 2017. Her portfolio includes coordinating the involvement of the Sekunjalo Group in the BRICS Business Council, where she has also served as the Chief Secretariat of the South African Chapter of the BRICS Business Council.

She is also responsible for coordinating the Sekunjalo Group’s various World Economic Forum activities, which include the Sekunjalo Group’s involvement in the Global Agenda Council on Emerging Multinationals and the Global Growth Companies Advisory Board.

Major directorships: Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Inyathelo: The South African Institute for Advancement.