Council Member Profiles

Augustinus Hendricks
Management of Business Administration: Agricultural Leadership Development (University of Pretoria) NAFU (President Western Cape & National), AGRI-SETA (Board Member), Wine Industry Development Association (Director & Board Member) Agri-sector Unity Forum (ASUF ) (Board member)

Augustinus Hendricks was born and bred in Wellington, Western Cape and he has been involved in agriculture for more than 10 years. He worked with several government departments (Department of Public Works, Department of Land Affairs, Department of Agriculture and Department of Water Affairs And Forestry) before joining the Water Research Commission. From 2002 - 2005, Augustinus was instrumental in drafting the Growth and Development Strategy and was later appointed by the then Premier of the Western Cape, Ebrahim Rasool, to serve on the Board of Directors of the Provincial Development Council (PDC). For the seven years he served on the Board of PDC he oversaw the drafting and implementation of the Provincial Land Reform Strategy and Agri-Business Strategy.

Mr Hendricks’ role in the development and transformation of the agricultural sector is undisputed. His hard work was recognised when he was elected to the National Executive of the National African Farmers Union (NAFU) where he served as the Deputy President and later in 2013 elected as the President. Besides these accolades Mr Hendricks once was a Director at CAPEC and a Board member of WESGRO.
Mr Hendricks was appointed to the Council of the NAMC in April 2014.



Andries Cronje
MSc Agric, Agricultural Economics University of Free State
Chairman of Organic Aloe in Albertinia.
Agricultural Research Specialist: Tiger Brands


Andries Muller is a married father of three and a seasoned agricultural economist. After completing his studies at the University of Free State he joined the Free State Department of Agriculture and later on lectured at Glen College of Agriculture in Agricultural Economics and the University of Free State respectively.

After an excellent spell in academic and business consulting, Adries joined GWK Limited in Douglas as Facilities Manager responsible for receiving, safe storage and outbound logistics of grain and diverse products for 6 different depots. During this period he gained practical experience of value chains in wheat, maize, lucerne, pulses and groundnuts. A number of capital projects were also done during this period to handle agricultural produce from this “new” irrigated area. In 2003 Andries moved to Tiger Food Brands as supply projects manager. His priorities in this position were to conduct studies on a range of diverse value chains including grains, vegetables, fruit, snacks & treats.

After a restructuring of Tiger Brands, Andries was appointed Agricultural Analyst for the Culinary Division. His responsibilities entail line function of procurement of different niche commodities, serving as a support function to the Culinary team and on an ad hoc basis to Tiger Brands.


Marie van der Merwe
BCom (Law) and MBL (University of South Africa)
Executive Committee of the South African National Consumer Union (SANCU), National Water Forum of TAU, Agricultural Trade Forum of DAFF, Impartiality Committee of SABS, Security and Risk Committee of SABS, Trustee of the Oil and Protein Seeds Development Trust and Director of Health Quality Assessment.


Marie started her career at DTI (Finance) and later moved to the Board of Trade and Industry. This was followed by a promotion to a higher position at Competition Board where she focused on investigations into restrictive practices, monopoly situations and acquisitions in terms of the Maintenance and Promotion of Competition Act, 1979. She also undertook an in-depth investigation into various Acts, regulating health services, to establish whether deregulation for these professions was feasible. During 1991 Marie was requested to manage the Business Practices Committee at dti.
This entailed responsibility for investigations in terms of the Harmful Business Act into alleged harmful business practices. In 1995 Marie was transferred to the Chief Directorate: Region Industrial Development. She was also appointed project Manager for the Competitiveness Fund. Funds were made available through a loan to South Africa from the World Bank. Marie was responsible for negotiations regarding tender requirements as well as signing of the loan agreement between the SA Government and the World Bank and the management contract between dti and the managers of the Fund (an Irish firm).
Marie served on the Personnel Advisory Committee of dti, on panels interviewing applicants for advertised posts, and on committees evaluating tenders for the appointment of consultants in dti. She was regularly requested to intervene and moderate personnel evaluation reports and also assisted dti with investigations into alleged misconduct by employees. She conducted disciplinary hearings either as prosecutor or chairman.


Mina Gill
Farm Owner: Ostrich Farming
Chairperson of Women in Agriculture and Rural Development in the Northern Cape Province; National Secretary of ANC Ward, Board Member of the National Lucerne Trust


Mina Gill worked for the ANC Constituency office in the Northern Cape Province for over 12 years where she was involved in community relations. She was responsible for ensuring communities understand government’s programmes, functions, operations and policy making processes. Later on her role expanded under the leadership of the then Premier of the Northern Cape Province Manne Dipico to linking provincial departments to communities.

While working with communities, government and donors on development projects Mina developed a passion for women empowerment especially after being exposed to agriculture. She became involved in farming because of the state of unemployment in her region and recruited three other members to start a business. By 2007, Mina was invited by the then Minister of Agriculture Lulu Xingwana to be part of a delegation to the Royal Agricultural College in United Kingdom (London).

In 2011, Mina was reappointed to the NAMC Council for a second term by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.


John Luscombe Purchase (Ph.D)
Chief Executive Officer: Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz)
Board Member: AgriBEE Charter Council, Chairman: CEO Forum (DAFF), Board Member: Land Bank

Prior to taking up the position as CEO of Agbiz, Dr John Purchase was the General Manager of Grain SA. He started his professional career as a scientist in the Research Division of the Department of Agriculture, which later became the Agricultural Research Council (ARC). He served the ARC for 22 years in various research and managerial positions.

Dr Purchase currently serves on the AgriBEE Charter Council (Ministerial appointment) and is the current chairman of the CEO Forum, a forum of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) in which the CEO’s and MD’s of agribusinesses and organized agriculture meet with the top management of DAFF to address the critical and strategic challenges facing the broader agricultural, forestry and fisheries industries of South Africa.
He serves on various Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) committees and NEDLAC task teams with regard to policy and legislation matters impacting on the agro-food industry, such as the New Growth Path Task Team, co-operatives legislation, consumer protection legislation (GM labelling), climate change and carbon tax policy, land reform policy and legislation, spatial planning and land use management legislation, et cetera.
Among other awards, he received the 2011 Alumnus of the Year award from the University of the Free State, as well as the 2012 South African Agriculturalist of the Year Award from the South African Agricultural Writers Association.


Dr Litha Magingxa
Ph.D Agric.Econ. (UFS), M.Sc (MAKS) Wageningen UR, Netherlands),
Land Bank: Senior Manager; Strategy & Planning

After completing his M.Sc., Litha joined the Africa regional program of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) on a doctoral research fellowship, within a co-agreement with the Agricultural research Council (ARC).
In this role, he gained a lot of valuable international experience. After four years in the program, he moved to the ARC on a full-time basis as an agricultural economist and subsequently became a Senior Researcher. In 2007, he was appointed Limpopo Basin Coordinator under the Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF) of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) where he was responsible for substantive coordination of projects in the four riparian countries (Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe). He joined the Land Bank as Lead Researcher in 2009 and is currently responsible for the bank’s strategy development and articulation.