Board Of Directors

Mr John Hinchliffe
Chartered Accountant  

Mr John Hinchliffe heads John Hinchliffe Consultants, an accounting and consulting practice in Gaborone. He was appointed to the BIHL Board on 01 June 2010.

He is also a Director of various other companies, including Development Securities (Pty) Limited; DCDM Consulting (Pty) Limited; Nsenya (Pty) Limited; Portion 84 Mokolodi Sanctuary (Pty) Limited; Mokolodi Utilities (Pty) Limited; Kalahari Conservation Society; and Camphill Community Trust.

Mr. Hinchliffe began his career as an accountant at Coopers and Lybrand in London, before being seconded to the firm’s Botswana office in 1982. Thereafter he worked for two (2) other Botswana companies before establishing his own consultancy in Gaborone. He then joined DCDM Botswana as Managing Director before re-establishing his consulting firm in 2005.

He is the Chairman of the Board of Botswana Life Insurance Limited (BLIL) and BIHL Insurance Company (BIHL IC). He has a BA (Econ) Honours degree from Manchester University, FCA (England & Wales) and he is a Fellow of the Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) as well as being a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. 

Mr. Gaffar Hassam
Chartered Accountant 

Gaffar Hassam is an Executive, Sanlam Emerging Markets, Southern Africa. He was the previous Chief Executive Officer of BIHL up to February 2016. He became a member of the BIHL Board on 01 December 2011. He was appointed Acting CEO of BIHL in April 2011. He joined the Group in 2003 as Botswana Life Insurance Limited Finance Manager and BIHL Company Secretary. Within the BIHL Group he held the positions of Head of Finance and Actuarial Services, Chief Operating Officer and Group Finance and Operations Officer at Botswana Life Insurance Limited. began his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Malawi and was transferred to the firm’s Botswana office in 2000. He has an MBA (Oxford Brookes); is a Fellow of Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA) and a Member of Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA).


Mr. Hassam, is also a Director of Letshego Holdings Limited, Nico Holdings Limited and Grand Reinsurance Limited. 

Ms Patient Thuto

Ms Patient Samukelo Thuto (nee Chibanda) is a founding Partner of Chibanda Makgalemele and Company. The firm was established on 1st September 1994 and is based in Gaborone. She has over 23 years’ experience in private practice in Zimbabwe and Botswana, having been first admitted to practise in January 1988 in the High Court of Zimbabwe.  For the period December 1987 to March 1991, she worked for Atherstone & Cook, which is one of the top four (4) law firms in Zimbabwe as well as the leading insurance law firm in the country regarded as the quintessential training ground for insurance law specialisation.  There she gained a wealth of experience in specific areas like insurance law, conveyancing and sectional title and corporate transactions. 

She is the Chair of the BIFM Unit Trust Board (BIFM UT). Patient Thuto holds an LLB degree from the University of Zimbabwe and she is a registered facilitator for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. 

Ms Lizelle Nel


After joining the company in 1992 as an actuarial assistant, Ms Nel spent her first eight (8) years in various arrears within SPF Actuarial before being appointed Product Actuary for Sanlam Life Product Development in 2000. In 2001 she moved to Client Solutions, heading up Intermediary Support for the retail businesses. Ms Nel also spent two (2) years in Sanlam Personal Finance Distribution assisting with strategy and cost efficiency. In 2004, she was appointed Head of Intermediary Support for Client Solutions.

Ms Nel was appointed Head of Actuarial Analysis in 2010 and is currently involved on many of the challenging regulatory changes that will affect Sanlam and the industry, including the new Solvency Requirements, Treating Customers Fairly, Retirement Reform and Retail Distribution Review.

Ms Nel holds a B.Comm from the University of Stellenbosch and a certificate in Actuarial Techniques and Finance and Investment from the Institute of Actuaries. In 2000, she qualified as an Actuary and became a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries (FIA) in London UK and a Fellow of the Actuarial Society of South Africa (FASSA). She also received a higher diploma in Financial Markets and Instruments from the Academy of Financial Markets in 2003.