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OMI sponsored SA Car of the Year 2023 jury announced

OMI sponsored SA Car of the Year 2023 jury announced
05-12-22 / Shelly Nxumalo

OMI sponsored SA Car of the Year 2023 jury announced

Johannesburg - Since the inaugural South African Car of the Year (COTY) competition in 1986, members of the South African Guild of Mobility Journalists (SAGMJ) have either hand-selected or elected the jury of peers by ballot. This year, the selection process is an amalgam of peer voting and jurors being hand-selected by the COTY committee.

“Innovations in driver assist features, safety, and technology along with hybrid and electric vehicles are being developed so rapidly, it can be overwhelming for consumers to be faced with so many options. It has always been our objective as mobility journalists to inform and educate. Awarding a vehicle, the title of the best car in South Africa is a big responsibility, and we want the best team possible to do the job,” Mabuyane Mabuza, Chairperson of 2023 COTY and interim Vice-Chairperson of the South African Guild of Mobility Journalists, noted.

The members of the SAGMJ, through a dedicated voting platform, elected 50% of the jurors who are members in good standing with the SAGMJ, completed two years of Jury training (or in exceptional circumstances, a one-year trainee programme), and are industry-recognised journalists who participate in the industry by attending manufacturer launch events, and/or driving media test vehicles during the eligibility period.

Garth Napier, MD of Old Mutual Insure, said that the combined experience of the jury has been the driving factor behind COTY’s reputation of raising automotive benchmarks, and promoting a culture of excellence, for more than three decades.

“Quality and innovation in the motoring world benefits our customers, as this allows them to enjoy vehicles that may be safer or offer more advanced technology.  This dovetails our strategy, which is to provide relevant and innovative insurance products and solutions that meet our customers’ changing needs,” said Napier. “Congratulations to this year’s jury, whose proven journalistic excellence will no doubt continue to raise the bar of the competition.”

In addition, 50% of trainee jurors were elected through online voting. These trainees are also members in good standing with the SAGMJ, have or will attend special juror one-on-one training sessions, and are industry-recognised journalists who participate in the industry by attending manufacturer launch events, and/or driving media test vehicles during the eligibility period.

2023 SA Car of the Year jury panel is (in alphabetical order):

  1. Alan Rosenmeyer
  2. Bernard Hellberg Jr
  3. Brenwin Naidu
  4. Carl Wepener
  5. Colin Windell
  6. Damian Adams
  7. Dirk Gallowitz
  8. Fanelesibonge Bengu
  9. Ferdi de Vos
  10. Francisco Nwamba
  11. Ian McLaren
  12. Janine van der Post
  13. Jason Woosey
  14. Jeanette Kok-Kritzinger
  15. Juliet McGuire
  16. Justin Jacobs
  17. Kumbi Mtshakazi
  18. Lerato Matebese
  19. Mabuyane Mabuza
  20. Marnus Hattingh
  21. Melinda Ferguson
  22. Nafisa Akabor (Hybrid/EV specialist)
  23. Sean Nurse
  24. Sibonelo Myeni
  25. Sisanda Mbete
  26. Thamsanqa Masemola
  27. Ziphorah Masethe.
  28. Reserve juror: Lawrence Smith.

Trainee jurors (in alphabetical order):

  1. Azim Omar
  2. Gugu Masuku
  3. Jason Mayo
  4. Naresh Maharaj
  5. Riyad Jaffer
  6. Vann van Staden.

The balance of the jury and trainee jury was hand-selected by the COTY committee consisting of Mabuyane Mabuza (Chairperson), Lerato Matebese, Thami Masemola, Jason Woosey, and Brenwin Naidu. They recruited several senior SAGMJ journalists and content creators to become more active with COTY, many of whom had served as jurors before.

“The COTY committee has recruited several respected journalists who will be joining the jury. This is one of the strongest and diverse COTY juries ever assembled for the competition. Now the real work starts, “concluded Mabuza.

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