Meet The Team

The Foundation’s committee consists of volunteers who kindly offer their time and expertise, thereby ensuring the future of this Foundation.

If you are a historian, architect, heritage practitioner or town planner and would like to volunteer your services, we would be most grateful to hear from you.

Robert Thorp

Robert Thorp

Robert’s career has always been in accounting and finance in the motor industry. He studied at UCT, completing a BA, B.Com and finally an MBA. Robert also acquired a professional accounting qualification from the UK. He started working with two motor manufacturers, then at a component manufacturer and finally his own dealership with his brother. Robert has lived in Constantia for the past 24 years and is involved with the Constantia Rate Payers Association.
Lesley Cox

Lesley Cox

Raised in the UK and moved to South Africa in 1995, Lesley has been a tour guide in Cape Town for the last 19 years. She graduated from UNISA with an Honours degree in History and loves engaging with clients about the history and architecture in Cape Town through her city walking tours.

Her philosophy is a mix of giving back and continued learning. Lesley volunteers at a number of NGO projects and regularly attends public lectures/educational outings offered by museums and historical societies.

She has a passion for amber jewellery, which she imports directly from Poland for online sales to clients within South Africa.

Ian Pretorius

Ian Pretorius

Being fascinated by historic buildings from a young age, Ian joined the Foundation when he was at school in Potchefstroom. He remained a member whilst studying Town and Regional Planning in Pretoria. He later joined the Stellenbosch Branch where he became involved with the Municipality’s Aesthetics Advisory Committee. When he was appointed as a Town Planner at Cape Town in 1993, he became a committee member of this branch.
Nikki Zigras

Nikki Zigras

Nikki is an interior designer with 15 years of hotel and residential design experience.
She is passionate about architectural preservation, and has a keen interest in Mid-century architecture in particular.
She enjoys rummaging through flea markets and upcycling retro furniture in her spare time.
Mike Deeks

Mike Deeks

Mike grew up in Kenilworth, Cape Town and Matriculated at Westerford High School. He completed his military training as a paratrooper.
He is an ardent collector of antique postcards and joint founder of the South African Postcard Society. He attended the School of Philosophy for over 20 years, is a keen guitarist and guitar teacher. Mike also runs an antique business from home with his wife.
Jean Raubenheimer

Jean Raubenheimer

Jean is a long standing member of the Simon van der Stel Foundation.
She has always been interested in history and heritage conservation. She has been involved in preschool education.
Andrew Jones

Andrew Jones

Having an interest in architecture and history joining the Simon van der Stel Foundation was a must. Coming from the UK nearly 40 years ago it has been a pleasure to learn about the fascinating history of the Cape through varied outings and talks organised by the Foundation. Since coming to Cape Town Andrew has been involved in the book trade and tourism, being a tour guide.
Pat Benbow-Hebbert

Pat Benbow-Hebbert

Pat has served on the Simon van der Stel Foundation Committee as Secretary since 1993.
She has spent many years interacting and getting to know a good number of the members.

She is married, has two daughters and travels regularly to the USA and UK to spend time with her grandchildren.

Simon Liell-Cock

Simon Liell-Cock

Simon Liell-Cock was born in Cape Town. He has qualifications and more than 27 years’ work experience in 3 disciplines – Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management and Information Technology. Simon currently lives in Noordhoek where his family has owned property since 1960. He has been the Councillor for ward 61 since 2011. He is our City of Cape Town representative and also attends Cape Town Heritage Trust meetings on our behalf.