The Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD) held its 5th General Assembly from 24th to 25th November 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa, where elections for the new Regional Executive Council (REC) were conducted.
During the REC elections, Mrs Rachel Kachaje from Malawi, won the votes for the position of Chairperson, replacing the outgoing Chairperson, Mr Adao Joao Pombal from Angola. At the time of assuming the position of the chairperson, Mrs Kachaje was also serving as Secretary for the Africa Disability Forum (ADF), as well as Chairperson for the Disabled Women in Africa (DIWA).
Mr Musa Makhanya, from Swaziland, won the seat of Deputy Chairperson (Development). At the time of of being elected, he was Secretary for the Federation of Organisations of Disabled People in Swaziland (FODSWA).
Makhanya’s counterpart, Ms. Nondumiso Shongwe, who was also an Executive Member of the FODSWA at the time of elections, won the position of Deputy Chairperson (Women And Under-Represented Groups), meaning both deputy chairpersons were from Swaziland.
Mr Manuel Alphenso Felia Lazaro, from Mozambique, maintained the position of Honorary Treasurer/Secretary. Mr Lazaro has been representing the Forum of Associations of Disabled People in Mozambique (FAMOD) in the REC for more than eight years. Besides Mrs Kachaje, he is therefore currently the longest serving REC member.
Ms Masenate Ntahli Griffiths, from Lesotho, won the seat of Chairperson of the Regional Women’s Committee. She represented the Lesotho National Federation of the Disabled (LNFOD).
The position of the Chairperson of the Youth Committee was won by Mr Aderito Fernandes from Angola. He represented the Federation of Organisations of Disabled People in Angola (FAPED).
Mr Lehlohonolo Molisana from Lesotho and Mr Neiso Modise from Botswana were voted as Council Members. They represented the LNFOD and Botswana Federation of Disabled People (BOFOD), respectively.