The Institute is run by a Council comprising of a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson, 3 Council members and an Executive Director.

Except for the Executive Director, SATI office bearers and committee members work on a voluntary basis. Members of council are elected on an annual general meeting for a period of 3 years.

The Institute does not have a physical office, but operates on a virtual basis.

→ Council members


Chairperson: Eleanor Cornelius

Eleanor Cornelius – SATI chairperson Eleanor has some 30 years’ experience in the language profession. As a young professional, she worked as a language practitioner in the office of the Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal ;(WAT) in Stellenbosch and as a translator at the then State Language Services in Pretoria. She was also a lecturer in the Department of Afrikaans at the University of Fort Hare in Alice and a researcher at Vista University in Port Elizabeth for relatively short stints earlier in her career.

In the early years following the establishment of the Pan South African Language Board, during the late 1990s, Eleanor was tasked to establish 11 lexicography units (NLUs), for each of the 11 official languages in the country, in her capacity as Deputy Director: Language Development. By the time she left the organisation all NLUs were up and running, and fully functional.

In 2001 she returned to academia, to join the Department of Linguistics (now the Department of Languages, Cultural Studies and Applied Linguistics) at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), where she is currently an associate professor. Her research interests include interpreting, text editing and (legal) translation. More recently, Eleanor also developed an interest in machine translation and translation quality. These interests mostly pertain to the extent in which modern language technologies influence the ways human translators execute their daily tasks the ways in which these technologies influence the future careers of translators and interpreters and how translator and interpreter trainers need to adjust their curricula, pedagogies, and teaching/learning philosophies and approaches in the digital era.

She has published a range of articles in both accredited and non-accredited academic journals, and she regularly reads papers at national and international conferences. Eleanor is often called upon to speak on recent developments in the area of plain language, on access to information and on the democratisation of language in different settings for various audiences. Her plain language workshops are popular in professional, academic and corporate contexts alike. Eleanor is an accredited simultaneous interpreter in two directions: Afrikaans-English and English-Afrikaans. She regularly interprets at conferences and other high-level events and meetings. Eleanor has served on the SATI council since June 2012 and has been elected chairperson in May 2018. In August 2014 she was elected to the council of the International Federation of Translators (FIT). She currently serves a second term on the FIT council. She serves on five task forces / standing committees of FIT, including the Development and Engagement Task Force which provides guidance and support in territories where there is a shortage of or need for translator associations to protect the interests of local translators and interpreters. Amongst others, she serves on the programming committee of Asling’s (the International Association for Advancement in Language Technology) annual Translating and the Computer conference series, and on SADiLaR’s (South African Centre for Digital Language Resources) Scientific Advisory Committee.


Vice-Chair: Peter Mekgwe

Peter T. Mekgwe is a full-time language practitioner offering most services related to the language profession in some of the South African Official Languages. The integral part of the services that he offers are translations, consecutive and simultaneous interpreting in disciplinary hearings, public hearings, court interpreting, proofreading/phrase by phrase checking of translated texts, academic editing, production of electronic transcripts, terminology building and many more. His fields of expertise are law, economics, mathematics, mining, literary, zoology and general texts.

Peter was born in Carletonville where he spent the first 5 years of his life. He then moved to Mafikeng, North-West Province, where he went to school. He is a Tswana of The Bahurutshe Tribe. In time, his interest in the language profession grew immensely which led to him pursuing training in different aspects of the industry and seeking accreditations for his abilities. His first accreditation with SATI was in 1998, he has thus been a member of SATI for 20 years. He has had very interesting engagements with translation studies at Stellenbosch University completing, among other things, Introductory Translation Theory As well as Academic Editing. In Setswana we say, “Thuto ga e golelwe”, which when translated means, “You are never too old to learn.” Peter is currently continuing with his studies in language related work.

His vision for SATI is that it will ultimately bring to realisation all its objectives for which it was established in the first place: The biggest – the promotion of multilingualism in the Rainbow Nation. As Vice-Chairperson of the Institute, he hopes to plough back into the Institute and hopefully to raise its membership, along with fellow zealous members. He also wants to encourage language practitioners to join the Institute in order to enjoy the benefits of the organisation.


Anja Kirchdörfer Lee: Council member

Anja Kirchdörfer Lee holds a degree in translation from Heidelberg University (Germany 2005) and started to work as a full-time freelance translator in 2014. She is based in Uniondale and specializes in marketing and tourism translations and transcreations from English and Spanish into German. As a qualified teacher for German as a foreign language she taught at Manchester Metropolitan University (UK) as well as the Goethe Institutes in Manchester (UK) and Mannheim (Germany). Anja moved to South Africa in 2010 where she helped to set up and subsequently managed an eco-tourism lodge on a nature reserve near Uniondale for four years.

Anja is a member of the Federal Association of Interpreters and Translators (BDÜ) and the Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK). She joined SATI in 2017 and received accreditation for general translation English > German in January 2018.

She would love to see SATI as the first point of contact for young (and not so young) professionals starting out as freelancers She is passionate about professional standards and fair rates in the translation industry and would like to explore and share new ways to succeed through positioning and specialization.


Linda Botha: Council member

Linda received postgraduate training in translation at Wits University, followed by an Honours degree in English. She has been in the language services business since 2003, and founded Linda Botha Language Solutions (lbls) in 2013. lbls provides translation, transcription, copywriting and editing services to regular clients such as top-five auditing firm PWC, the Standard Bank Group, the HSRC and North-West University. Linda is also a published author of educational material and has acted as freelance publisher for, inter alia, Vivlia Publishers and Macmillan.

She has extensive experience of managing large translation and transcription projects to strict requirements.

Linda was elected to the SATI Council in January 2016. She is the agency representative on Council. Her experience in the field and vast knowledge is a great asset to her fellow Council members and members of SATI as a whole.


Delphin E. Hlungwane: Council member

Ms Hlungwane is a South African Sign Language (SASL) interpreter with over ten years’ experience. She has worked in a variety of settings, including academic, conference, disability rights and government. Ms Hlungwane developed her interpreting coordinating skills while working as an SASL interpreting service coordinator at the Deaf Federation of South Africa (DeafSA). While she now works mainly as an SASL interpreter, Ms Hlungwane’s tertiary education included French and German language studies.

Ms Hlungwane’s motivation for being involved with SATI is to support the organisation in promoting the interests of the language practice profession. Ms Hlungwane aims to assist in the promotion of the SASL interpreting profession, as well as other minority languages. Her years of experience in the SASL interpreting field has attuned to the interpreting needs of the Deaf community. Ms Hlungwane has a keen interest in the promotion of the various language practice professions.


Theresa Bender: Executive Director

After 10 years in Europe she came back to South Africa and worked as General Manager of a language school called Learning Languages in Bloemfontein, which she started and managed for 8 years. This school offered students to learn 6 international languages and 2 indigenous languages as well as translation and interpreting services.

She ventured into the medical world when she manages a medical centre for 4 years. During the past 4 years she worked as French lecturer at CUT, doing freelance editing and translation. She has been working mostly in French, English and Afrikaans, but also has knowledge of Italian, German, Swedish and Sesotho.

As executive director of SATI, she is the only paid member of the Council. She manages the organisation on a daily basis. All inquiries go through her office. She is available at: office@translators.org.za