Marije Versteeg – Mojanaga – Director

Marije has been at the helm of the RHAP since its inception in 2009. Committed to human rights and social justice from an early age, her passion for rural health was groomed at the Madibeng Centre for District Health Studies in Brits, North West Province. Working as a researcher at the MCR for many years, she interacted closely with local leadership structures, community members and health care workers documenting the experiences and struggles of people’s access to quality primary health care. Once at RHAP, Marije co-authored various peer-reviewed and popular publications including the results of a Delphi study on rural health priorities, and a chapter on the Right to Rural Health in the SAHR 2010. Marije represents rural health in a number of civil society and government leadership and technical structures. She was selected as one of the Top 200 Young South Africans by the Mail and Guardian in 2011. Marije holds a Masters Degree in Culture, Organisation and Management from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. Marije can be contacted at


Mafoko Phomone – Deputy Director and Researcher

As RHAP’s researcher Mafoko works across programmes, leading various research efforts in human resources for health and rural financing. She is also the coordinator of the Rural Mental Health Campaign, an alliance of organisations advocating for rural people’s access to mental health care at primary care level. Mafoko has been with the RHAP since 2014. She holds a BA in Psychology and originates from Lesotho where she worked for the Ministry of Health in the field of District Health Management and HIV/AIDS. She is in her final year of the MpH in Rural Health at the University of the Witwatersrand. Her MpH thesis investigates mental health care service delivery by rural nurses.


Samantha Khan-Gillmore- Programme Manager:Human Resources for Health

Samantha Khan-Gillmore is RHAP’s Programme Manager Human Resources for Rural Health, including The Voice Project, which is aimed at empowering health care workers to advocate for patients rights and for a quality health care system. Before joining RHAP she has managed managing education, workers’ and human rights programmes for over a decade, in South Africa and across the African continent. Samantha has previously worked for the Discipline of Occupational and Environmental Health (DOEH) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Durban, as well for local and international labour movements. She holds a post-graduate (Honours) qualification in Politics and an undergraduate Law degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban.


Russell Rensburg – RHAP’s Programme Manager Health Systems and Policy

Russell is RHAP’s Programme Manager for health systems and policy. His work includes managing RHAP’s rural proofing programme which advocates for the equitable allocation of resources for rural health care delivery. Before joining RHAP, he worked with the UNAIDS supported Technical Support Facility, managing technical assistance to 19 focus countries across Eastern and Southern Africa. He has holds a Bachelor of Commerce with majors in Management and Economics.”


Palesa Butler – Administrator

Palesa is a professional in Office Administration and has worked for various small and large organisations on short term postings before settling at RHAP in July 2014. Palesa is studying towards a BCom in Business Administration. Contact Palesa at


Daygan Eagar – Advistor Health Budgets and Expenditure

Daygan has led the RHAP’s rural-proofing programme since 2014. In October 2016 Daygan moved abroad for a couple of years. He continues to provide ongoing input, research  and budget analysis to the work of RHAP. Daygan has published extensively on health budgets and expenditure including a book chapter on health financing reform and social justice. He has a degree in Psychology, a BA (Hon) in Social Anthropology and a Post Graduate Diploma in Health Economics from UCT. Daygan is one of the 2014 Top 200 Young South Africans, selected annually by the Mail and Guardian. Daygan can be contacted at


Dr Richard Cooke – Advisor Clinical Governance and Policy

Trained as a specialist Family Physician and a former rural Clinical Manager at Madwaleni district hospital in the Eastern Cape, Richard works with the RHAP in various projects. He has developed a strong interest and passion for patient rights and access to rural health care. Richard is acting Director of the Wits Centre for Rural Health. He is the recipient of many awards, including two Discovery Foundation awards (Family Medicine in 2007 and Rural Health Care 2011). Read more about Richard’s work as a rural doctor.

Fikelephi Sithole and Bheki Maqephula
Seconded by TAC to RHAP, Fikelephi Sithole and Bheki Maqephula work as field research assistants and community advocates in RHAP’s Rural-Proofing Policy and Budgeting Programme. Fikelephi is stationed in Umgungundlovu District and Bheki in Or Tambo District.