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Lyle Malander scoops top prize in the SAICA Top-35-under-35 CA(SA) competition

Last Updated Friday, October 5, 2018 12:32:28 PM

Johannesburg, Friday, 28 September 2018 – Lyle Malander (30), Director: Malander Advisory, Malander Placements, Malander Digital, and Malander UK, has been announced as the overall winner of the 2018 Top 35-under-35 chartered accountants [CA(SA)] award.

The Top-35-under-35 competition was launched by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) in 2014 to recognise its young CA(SA) achievers. It has proven to be a huge success in recognising and promoting young CAs(SA) under the age of 35 who are not just achieving extraordinary results in their professional capacity, but also have a significant impact on society.

There were also five category winners:

  • Influence: Nathaniel Japhta (31), Director, F.A.M Consulting; Founder, Pro 226 Africa; and Co-owner, Easylife Kitchens.
  • Develop: Ashley-Juan van der Hoogen (28), Business Development Director, Ranzo Trading and Olbro Logistics.
  • Lead: Chris van Zyl (32), Founder and Managing Director of Walworth Consulting (Pty) Ltd, and a professional rugby player.
  • Power of Professional Thinking: Wadzanai Mabuto (34), Senior Lecturer at University of Johannesburg.
  • Out of the Ordinary: Louise Chunnett (34) and Frans Geldenhuys (34), Bidvest ALICE Founding Members, Bidvest Advisory Services (Pty) Ltd.

More on the winners The winners are considered by the judging panel as the cream of the crop among this year’s Top-35-under-35 CAs(SA), who have gone the extra mile to achieve their career aspirations. Indeed, all 35 finalists are individuals who have not only successfully pursued their career dreams, but have also excelled and moved swiftly through the ranks to lead operations within notable organisations.

The overall winner Lyle Malander is only 30 years old, but already a trendy businessman and a trailblazer whose ambitions are fuelled by making a difference and creating a legacy. The co-founder and director of the Malander Group of companies’ core focus is providing professional advisory and resource solutions to various large and listed entities. Lyle is proud to say that in two-and-a-half years the Malander businesses have derived revenue in excess of R40 million. His hard work and arduous hours have turned his dreams into reality.

Through the Malander Advisory business, Lyle oversees a team that provides managed chartered accountant and finance resource solutions to an array of clients in various sectors and industries and has created employment opportunities for over 70 chartered accountants and finance professionals.

Influence category winner, Nathaniel Japhta, is an innovative leader pushing boundaries in the sport, corporate and social impact areas. Nathaniel was a star performer in PwC’s advisory division, where he moved between audit and public sector advisory. He led the way in helping Cipla South Africa save over R100 million in their last financial year as the lead project manager.

Today Nathaniel’s one great mission is to improve the lives of youngsters through sport. Being an exceptional sportsman himself, he excels in basketball and soccer. In 2014 he was requested to take the position of president of his hometown club, Heideveld Basketball Club on the Cape Flats, which is arguably the biggest basketball club in South Africa. He has also been at the forefront of raising funding for the community via the club. Nathaniel was elected president of the Cape Town Basketball Association at the age of 30 − the youngest president in its history.

The Develop category winner, Ashley-Juan van der Hoogen, had an affinity for business from a young age. In primary school he figured he could give the school tuck shop some stiff competition and at university he sold imported clothing to pay for tuition. Today, the humble young entrepreneur who is a philanthropist at heart has turned Ranzo, the truck business he started during his traineeship, into a fleet of 15 trucks. He is also a director of Olbro Logistics.

Building an audit robot named Alice that mimics the logic, rationale, decision-making and problem-solving of a human audit brain requires much research and development and possesses and requires volumes of training data. ALICE is currently likened to a junior IT audit trainee and Louise Chunnettt and Frans Geldenhuys are developing her brain capacity to build her up to an IT audit specialist with a focus on security. Not only have they achieved what many thought would be impossible, but the Out of the Ordinary category winners have exceeded even their own expectations of what ALICE would be when they started the journey. 

“Bidvest ALICE is automating the entire workforce, from trainee to board member. She is allowing those charged with governance a view into the IT risks and environment that they could never achieve before. In doing so, she is leading other auditing firms to change the way they think about continuous auditing. Her ability to take the pain and work effort out of collecting data allows the auditor to rather spend time engaging in value-adding functions for the client, which is a key responsibility of all chartered accountants,” explains Frans.

The Power of Professional Thinking category winner, Wadzanai Mabuto, thrives on being surrounded by young, impressionable minds. When she delivers lectures to her students, she incorporates real-life challenges that she herself has overcome, or is currently facing, to demonstrate that despite the odds stacked against one, anything is possible!

As a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Accountancy at UJ, she is equipping her students to graduate in order to be relevant and technically savvy, but her end goal is to nurture them into becoming effective global citizens that will contribute positively to society.

In the public eye, Lead category winner, Chris van Zyl, first and foremost is a proud professional rugby player. But he has decided to deviate from the norm and pursue an alternative career while playing professional rugby.

Some of his highlights are captaining the Western Province rugby team to Currie Cup glory in 2017, playing professional rugby for the Stormers in the 2018 Super Rugby season, and launching a bespoke professional services company, Walworth Consulting (Pty) Ltd at the same time. Chris qualified as a CA(SA) in 2016 and says he has chosen to let his career take an odd direction. But his determination to work through his traineeship while pursuing his professional rugby passion bears testament to his hard-working nature and dedication. He believes his innovation will lead the way to what he hopes will become a more common practice.

The SAICA Senior Executive for Brand, Willi Coates, congratulated all the participants and especially the award winners. “It is indeed gratifying to see that our young CAs(SA) are committed to responsible leadership when the profession is under scrutiny for purported unethical behaviour by a minority of CAs(SA) who have not embraced the principle of doing the right thing even while no one is looking,” says Willi. “Our young CAs(SA) are a beacon of light and hope that points to the fact that our economy is in good hands, led by responsible young CA(SA) business leaders who, through their commitment, engender trust in the profession. I applaud all our young CAs(SA) finalists for their commitment and congratulate the winners on their achievement.”

The judging panel included 11 prestigious judges: Andile Khumalo CA(SA), Entrepreneur and former Managing Director of Power 98.7 and former COO of MSG Afrika; Dineshrie Pillay CA(SA), NeoSpective Consulting; Brett Tromp CA(SA), Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Discovery Health; Jaco Oosthuizen CA(SA), Managing Director of Renault South Africa; Willem van der Post CA(SA), Founder xTech.Capital; Abed Tau CA(SA), Co-founder of Tuta-Me; Gugu Mtetwa CA(SA), Non-executive Director; Prudence Mashalane CA(SA), Banking team leader at Investec; Tharina Bennie-Van Dyk CA(SA), High Net Worth International Head at Investec; and Kapish Singh, Manager at PPS. Each finalist was interviewed personally, after which an overall winner was selected along with five category winners, the categories this year were: Influence, Develop, Out of the Ordinary, Power of Professional Thinking and Lead.

The competition’s proud sponsors are Renault, Investec, PPS, and Sage who have recognised the value of the competition as it provides a platform to promote young CAs(SA) who are making a valuable contribution to the economy of South Africa, as well as in their communities.


The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), South Africa’s pre-eminent accountancy body, is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading accounting institutes. The Institute provides a wide range of support services to more than 46 000 members and associates who are chartered accountants [CAs(SA)], as well as AGAs(SA) and ATs(SA), who hold positions as CEOs, MDs, board directors, business owners, chief financial officers, auditors and leaders in every sphere of commerce and industry, and who play a significant role in the nation’s highly dynamic business sector and economic development.

SAICA Media Contact:

Kulani Chauke Communication Coordinator: Corporate SAICA Brand Division 011 479 0698 or 071 266 0019