Presidency announces new senior appointments

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Presidency is pleased to announce the appointments of two Deputy Directors-General (DDG), Ms Lakela Kaunda and Mr Vusi Mona.

Cabinet on Wednesday, 29 July 2009 approved the appointment of Ms Kaunda as DDG and Head of the private office of the President and that of Mr Mona as DDG for communications.

Brief background on Ms Kaunda

Ms Kaunda brings to The Presidency more than 20 years of experience in the communications as well as political and strategic management fields. She will be responsible of the overall strategic and operational management of the private office of the President, ensuring alignment with government priorities and programmes.

A former journalist and newspaper editor, she was chairperson of the South African National Editors Forum in 1999 to 2000.

Prior to her appointment she managed the office of the African National Congress (ANC) President, Mr Jacob Zuma, in Luthuli House and has been acting DDG and head of the private office since the inauguration of President Zuma.

Ms Kaunda has previously worked as Head of Communications and Special Adviser to the Minister of Social Development Dr Zola Skweyiya and was Spokesperson to Mr Zuma when he was the Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, while she also served as his public relations officer when he was MEC for Economic Affairs and Tourism in KwaZulu-Natal.

A seasoned journalist, she was appointed editor of the Evening Post newspaper in Port Elizabeth in 1999, becoming the first woman to edit a daily newspaper in the country. She has also worked as assistant editor and political correspondent for the Natal Witness in Pietermaritzburg.

Ms Kaunda holds a Masters degree in South African Politics and Political Economy from the University of Port Elizabeth, a BA Honours from University of South Africa (UNISA), Bachelor of Journalism and Media Studies from Rhodes University and a Post-graduate diploma in World Politics from the London School of Economics.

Brief profile of Mr Mona
Mr Mona was editor of City Press from late 2000 to the end of 2003. Prior to that, he had worked as features editor and deputy editor of City Press. Mona was editor of Tribute magazine in the late 90s and founding editor of The Teacher newspaper.

After his editorship of City Press, he became the managing director of a corporate communications firm, The Corporate Communications Agency, a subsidiary of The Agency for Marketing and Advertising. Most recently, he was the head of communications, media and public relations at Rhema Ministries South Africa.

Vincent Magwenya
Cell: 072 715 0024
Issued by: The Presidency
30 July 2009