Nel Marais & Jo Davies

After working as a researcher and lecturer at the University of Pretoria and the Institute for Strategic Studies, Nel Marais joined the South African Defence Force where he served as a Military Intelligence officer. During the 1980s, he joined the South African National Intelligence Service, during which time he specialised in both political and economic intelligence issues. Nel was seconded to the Department of Constitutional Affairs where he served the negotiation process and structures with intelligence assessments. In 1994 he became a member of the newly-formed South African Secret Service (SASS). In his capacity as Research and Analysis Manager, he interacted with numerous foreign intelligence services, political leaders and members of the South African government. Nel resigned from government at the end of 2000 and established his own consultancy company called Thabiti. The company focuses on risk management, business intelligence, as well as business facilitation. He works closely with government officials and private business entities in Africa and other parts of the world. Jo Davies started her career lecturing Afrikaans at the University of the Transkei and then moved to the Department of Arts and Culture where she worked as a language practitioner on a range of new legislation and policy documents. In 1997 she was employed as an editor for the newly constituted South African Secret Service before joining the National Intelligence Agency as an analyst with a special focus on the SADC region. She resigned from the NIA in 2003 to pursue a freelance career that has extended her focus to multiple risk related issues across the Continent.