André Pienaar Interviews Brian Menell

André Pienaar: “Welcome to the C5 Innovation channel. My name is Andre. C5 is a specialist venture capital fund focused on cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and cloud computing. Today, here in London, at our boardroom, we have Brian Menell, the Chief Executive of TechMet whose innovation lead is changing the world of mining and technology by focusing on how we can secure the critical minerals that are so crucial to the future of the digital world. Brian, welcome. Thank you for coming down to have a cup of tea with me today.”

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André Pienaar Interviews Eva-Maria Dimitriadis

André Pienaar: “Welcome to the C5 Innovation Channel. My name is Andre. We here in our boardroom in London. C5 is a specialist venture capital firm focused on investing in cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing. Today, to have a cup of tea with me is Eva-Maria Dimitriadis who’s been leading C5 Accelerate, our social impact investing platform. Eva, it’s great to have you with us today.”

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André Pienaar Interviews Kevin Barrow

André Pienaar: “Welcome to the C5 Innovation Leader’s Series and Channel. My name is Andre. C5 is a specialist venture capital firm, focused on investing in cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing. Today, to have a cup of tea with me in London, we have Kevin Barrow, one of the founders of Mark Labs, one of the most exciting startups that have passed through our accelerator program in Washington. Kevin, welcome. Mark Labs is helping to change and innovate the world of social impact investing. Tell us more about how you’re doing this and what you are focused on.”

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“The edge in cyberdefence is speed. AI is transforming cyberdefence, allowing businesses to detect evermore complex threats from evermore sophisticated attackers”

Article by Nick Ismail in the Raconteur, February 26th 2019

“The edge in cyberdefence is speed. AI is transforming cyberdefence, allowing businesses to detect evermore complex threats from evermore sophisticated attackers,” – André Pienaar

Sunday Times Raconteur Article: AI in cybersecurity: a new tool for hackers?

The world renowned good governance and anti-corruption authority, Lord David Gold has joined our judging panel at this year’s Shield in the Cloud innovation challenge

Lord David Gold to join the prestigious panel of judges for C5’s Shield in the Cloud innovation challenge

The entry deadline for this year’s global, anti-corruption challenge has been extended to Friday 1st March 2019

Winners will be revealed at a gala dinner on the 20th March 2019

London, 26 February 2019 C5, the specialist venture capital firm focused on investing in cybersecurity, cloud and artificial intelligence, has announced that Lord David Gold, world renowned litigator and former partner of Herbert Smith, will be joining the panel of judges for C5’s annual Shield in the Cloud global anti-corruption innovation challenge.

Running for a second year, Shield in the Cloud attracts the best and brightest minds working to innovate the fight against corruption. The competition is open to start-ups, non-profits and governments, and the deadline for entries has now been extended to Thursday, 28th February.

Lord David Gold began his career at the leading international firm, Herbert Smith, where he joined the litigation practice in 1975. He later became Head of Litigation and later Senior Partner.  During this time, he oversaw the firm’s international expansion in emerging markets, including the Middle East, South East Asia and Russia. During his extensive career he has advised on some notable cases, including recovering assets world-wide from Spanish fraudster Jose-Maria Ruiz Mateos, former owner of Rumasa SA.  Since leaving Herbert Smith, Lord Gold has set up a consultancy and monitored BAE Systems for the US Department of Justice and advised Rolls Royce on various ethics and governance issues, helping the company obtain a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the UK, US and Brazilian authorities in January 2017.

He joins a prestigious panel of judges with expertise across the cybersecurity, technology, government banking and investment community. The panel includes Derek Maltz, the former Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA); Jay Collins, Vice Chairman Corporate and Investment Banking at Citi; Lucinda Low, Partner at Steptoe & Johnson LLP; Kurt Scherer, Chief of Staff at C5 and Andre Pienaar, Founder of C5.  The panel is tasked with identifying the most innovative start-ups, non-profits and governments who are using technology for global anti-corruption compliance issues. The winners will be announced at a gala dinner in Washington D.C. on 20 March 2019.

Lord David Gold said “Corruption is an issue that affects companies, individuals and countries at both the international and national level. On a global level, we are seeing more countries creating new and increasingly sophisticated anti-bribery and corruption legislations, including aggressive enforcement initiatives by government regulators. We are also witnessing various enforcement agencies joining forces to help fight against corruption and the various strains that international law has on these efforts. Technology will be invaluable in the fight to combat global, political and corporate corruption, and competitions such as C5’s Shield in the Cloud are helping companies and organisations to create innovative solutions. I am honoured to be part of the judging panel, and I am looking forward to reviewing all the entrant’s solutions.”

Andre Pienaar, Founder of C5 Capital said “It is an honour to have Lord David Gold join our judging panel. He brings with him a wealth of legal and business expertise in the global fight against corruption and will provide invaluable insights to all our entrants.”

Due to popular demand, the nominations for the Awards will close on 1st March and applications can be made here.

For press enquiries contact:

Emily Jones and Sheena Munsami at 

About C5

C5 Capital Limited (C5) is a specialist venture capital firm focused on investing in cybersecurity, cloud and artificial intelligence. C5 has offices in Washington, London, Munich, Luxembourg and Manama.

C5 Accelerate is a London, Washington D.C. and Bahrain based technology investment firm. Its mission is to accelerate best of breed startups through its two accelerators, and to build a portfolio of early stage investments.

Twitter: @c5accelerate

Facebook: @c5.accelerate

I have written a blog post to explain why C5 runs the first global anti-corruption innovation challenge called Shield in the Cloud

Why C5 Launched a Global Anti-corruption Innovation Challenge

As part of my earlier career, I worked with intrepid African leaders like Mandela, Mbeki, Kuofor and Kibaki who were determined to combat corruption for the health of their countries’ democracies. In South Africa, the capacity building work I led early on in South Africa’s new democracy from 1996-1998 culminated in the formation of the Directorate of Special Operations (DSO) or the Scorpions, one of the most successful anti-corruption units in Africa’s history.  

Those experiences showed me how the tentacles of grand corruption can reach to a high level across many countries. I have seen how corruption is corrosive, ruining lives, keeping people poor and threatening democracy. This often involves narcotics which is closely interlinked to the finance of terrorism.

But we are not just talking about grand corruption involving big conspiracies and criminal networks. No, it is not just the high level stuff of Netflix dramas and Hollywood blockbusters, because corruption seeps down to the mundane, to housing officials taking small bribes or seeking favours, customs officers turning a blind eye, and pharmacists taking payments for medicines never administered.

And although countries at war, or those rebuilding after being ripped apart by conflict, are the most vulnerable, no nation, even the most developed and sophisticated, is immune.

Corruption can be defeated- and innovation and technology create new opportunities to combat corruption. That is why C5’s Cloud Leadership Centre (CLC) launched the Shield in the Cloud Innovation Challenge, the first global anti-corruption innovation challenge, the winners of which will be announced in Washington on the 20th March with the legendary former District Attorney Preet Bharara as our keynote speaker.

We foster innovation across the major US cloud platforms, because we can see how it provides a new weapon in the armoury of those fighting corruption, harnessing not only the power of the cloud but also of cyber and space technology.

Perhaps its most important role is to provide the connectivity that enables people working against corruption to share information so that they are no longer operating in isolation with all the dangers that brings.

Technology also creates high levels of transparency, whether it is monitoring election booths or recording daily incidents of petty bribery, producing information that can be shared locally, nationally and internationally.

That information provides the raw material for big data analytics which can process it to map corruption, identify trends and patterns, and shine a spotlight on the links and correlations that help identify the culprits.

Blockchain is a valuable weapon in stamping out dishonesty as the digital ledger system provides a trusted way of recording transactions that offers a valuable alternative in countries where official systems are discredited.

New technology allows improved training, on smartphones, laptops, in real time or through video and text.

And it has opened up a whole new field of forensics, giving investigators the ability to follow a trail of communications and transactions across mobile phones, emails and computer systems, helping them collate evidence that courts can trust.

At the heart of all this is cloud computing which has transformed the economics and security of computing, doing away with the need to have racks of costly servers that were easily targeted by corrupt officials.

We know that anti-corruption work can be hard, dangerous, sometimes lonely and often overlooked, so we want to provide encouragement at the same time as building up networks where the best people working in the field can connect with each other and with technologists working in other areas.

The aim of Shield in the Cloud is to nurture the next phase of innovation and encourage building networks and information sharing. We have set up the challenge across five categories: not-for-profit; start-ups; government; corporate and bold leadership. Entrants are judged on criteria such as innovation, affordability, transferability and scalability. In 2018 we recognised the innovation done by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)’s Special Operations Division (SOD) in a data sharing platform with all other law enforcement agencies around arrests and cases. We also recognised anti-corruption innovation in the Ukraine in the use of blockchain by ProZorro to protect property rights, Citibank’s Tech in Integrity programme and Ushahidi, an African start-up that brings transparency to elections. 

It is not just about recognising the organisations developing new technologies and applications themselves, we want to make policy and decision makers aware of what can be done and to reward those organisations that are encouraging others.

There is a strong link between fighting corruption, financial crime and cyber security and the three areas often overlap.

Fighting corruption is really about protecting the poor because if corruption is left to fester it harms the prospects of children getting a good education or a job, it increases the cost of living, prevents people saving and makes it impossible to get out of poverty.

Anti-corruption investigations are not for the faint of heart, but technology gives anti-corruption investigators an edge and we are confident that Shield in the Cloud will drive innovation and collaboration to strengthen and sharpen that edge.

Andre D.F. Pienaar

Preet Bharara announced as the key note speaker at C5’s Shield in the Cloud Gala dinner

Winners of the second global Shield in the Cloud anti-corruption innovation challenge will be revealed at the event on the 20th March

C5 also announces that Derek Maltz is to join the Challenge’s prestigious judging panel

London, 12 February 2019 – C5, the specialist venture capital firm focused on investing in cybersecurity, cloud and artificial intelligence, has announced that Preet Bharara, former United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, will be the keynote speaker at the gala dinner announcing the winner of C5’s annual  Shield in the Cloud, the global anti-corruption innovation challenge. The dinner will be held on the 20th March 2019 in Washington D.C.

Preet served as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York from August 2009 to March 2017. During his tenure, he was responsible for a series of significant and systemically revelatory public corruption cases against members of New York City and State governments. Bharara is now a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the New York University Law faculty, and his forthcoming book, “Doing Justice: A Prosecutor’s Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law” is due to be released on the 19th March, 2019. At the dinner, he will engage the audience in a conversation around the need to push for greater transparency across businesses and governments, and why the rule of law is essential to our society, based on his experience in fighting corruption.

Preet Bharara said; “Corruption is a global issue that affects all of us in some way, whether or not we even realize it. Whether it be corruption in the supply chains that bring us our food, or on a grander scale in governments around the world, this issue is not going away. Technology and a greater awareness of the challenges are key weapons in our fight to combat corruption and it’s competitions such as C5’s Shield in the Cloud that are helping to provide a platform for companies and organizations of all shapes and sizes to work towards a corruption-free world. I’m pleased to have been invited to speak at the gala and wish all the entrants well.”

C5 has also announced that Derek Maltz, the former Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Special Operations Division (SOD) of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) will be joining the Challenge’s prestigious judging panel. He will be tasked with identifying innovative solutions that combat global, political and corporate corruption and promote good governance. He joins an experienced group of legal, business and industry experts with expertise in national security, anti-corruption and innovation, including Lucinda Low, Kurt Scherer and Jay Collins and Andre Pienaar.

Andre Pienaar, Founder, C5 Capital said: “We are honored to have Preet Bahara as our keynote speaker. Preet is a global leader who has an unrivalled track record of innovating the fight against corruption and crime. It will be invaluable for our judging panel to have Derek Maltz’s insights. Derek is a fearless front-line leader whose intrepid team in the DEA takes down some of the most dangerous organized crime syndicates in the world. 

Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, the Chairman of the CLC said “In C5 we believe that US cloud innovation opens up new possibilities to combat corruption and to fight poverty, globally. The Shield in the Cloud competition identifies and supports innovation leaders who combat corruption, often against the odds. Our alumni welcome the new entrants as part of a global network to help build sustainable and just societies worldwide.”

Shield in the Cloud is an annual global anti-corruption innovation challenge designed to reward and recognize the leading and emerging startups that are harnessing the power of technology and innovation to fight corruption and improve transparency worldwide. The competition is now in its second year, and the winners will be announced at the dinner following Bharara’s speech.

Nominations for the Awards will close on 25th February and applications can be made here.

For press enquiries contact:

Emily Jones and Sheena Munsami at or 0207 796 4133

About Shield in the Cloud

The Shield in the Cloud global anti-corruption innovation challenge is aligned with Goal 16 of the United Nations’ Global Sustainable Goal to promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies. This Goal seeks to hold institutions and governments accountable and transparent. It also aims to eliminate bribery and other forms of political and corporate corruption. 

For more information on Shield in the Cloud, please visit:

In C5 we partner with entrepreneurs to build our portfolio companies. Entrepreneurs are complex people driven to succeed. Understanding the makeup of our partners is key to our success

The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship

No one said building a company is easy. But it’s time to be honest about how brutal it really is — and the price so many founders secretly pay.

This is a positive development in the fight against organised crime and corruption in South Africa

Mandy Wiener: Breathing life into the Scorpions: The right thing to do but a mighty challenge

 08:43 08/02/2019 

 Mandy Wiener

Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement to create the Scorpions 2.0 is the most exciting development in the fight against corruption in a decade. But making it a reality is going to be a mighty challenge, writes Mandy Wiener.

It was in the mud at the ANC’s 52nd conference in Polokwane that the death knell of the Scorpions was tolled. It was a political decision more than anything else.

The unit had been too successful in going after high profile politicians who had become corrupt. At one point it had a 94% hit rate and that wasn’t going to fly in an era of state capture when those in office were eating the money meant for the poor.

The Scorpions had also made mistakes. It was heavily criticised for picking and choosing cases, deciding only to go after those which were sure wins. This gave the impression that they were politically motivated, only selecting those targets that suited them.

As an example, the decision to pursue former national police commissioner Jackie Selebi and cut deals with the Kebble killers and Glenn Agliotti was massively controversial. The Hollywoodesque style raids and flashing lights and branded cars were a crowd pleaser but were frowned upon by some who thought the hype ill placed.

But the fundamental reason that the Directorate of Special Operations (DSO) was killed off was those spy tapes, Leonard McCarthy and revelations that the unit was being manipulated for political and personal agendas.

Now Cyril Ramaphosa is attempting to breath new life into the Scorpions.

He’s announced a new investigative directorate that will fall under Shamila Batohi at the NPA, to probe evidence that has come out of the state capture commission and other inquiries. While it may not be called the Scorpions, it essentially is the Scorpions 2.0. Batohi watched the State of the Nation Address from the public gallery in the National Assembly, sitting next to Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis, as the president affirmed her authority and independence as NDPP.

The reason the Scorpions was so successful in court was because the DSO followed the ‘troika’ principle. The unit was intelligence-driven and prosecution-led. The system saw prosecutors, investigators and intelligence operators working closely under a single command. This streamlined approach ensured the correct evidence was collected and when cases went to trial, prosecutors had the best possible ammunition to secure a conviction.

This approach means the prosecutors at the NPA don’t have to rely on a completely separate organisation like the Hawks to do the investigating for them. It also means that investigators are isolated from any political interference at the SAPS and have the independence and authority to do their work without pressure or meddling. It also means they can get the job done properly at a time when the Hawks are visibly floundering, still recovering from the assault of Berning Ntlemeza and a deliberate campaign to eviscerate it.

Ramaphosa’s announcement is the most exciting development in the fight against corruption in a decade. It has been roundly welcomed by the public. But making it a reality is going to be a mighty challenge.

The problem is one of capacity. The NPA is experiencing a 19% vacancy rate on prosecutors alone. Last year its leadership told Parliament that it needed R761m to fill over 1 000 vacancies including 244 posts which were deemed critical.

The bulk of the original Scorpions have left the NPA, pushed out by politics and disillusionment. Almost the entire Operation Bad Guys team which convicted Selebi has moved on. Most have followed Gerrie Nel to AfriForum.

Many of the original investigators moved over to the Hawks which was supposed to fulfill the anti-corruption function left vacant by the demise of the Scorpions, but failed dismally. A great many of those investigators have gone into the private sector, to audit firms or forensic companies. As an example, there is no longer one forensic accountant at the Hawks today which makes unravelling a scheme like Steinhoff or VBS basically impossible.

The mission now is to get good, qualified, capable people back into the NPA. This doesn’t only mean ex-Scorpions, but young, ambitious candidates who are eager to stick their hands up and say “Thuma Mina”.

It’s about reinvigorating the appetite to join the civil service and fight corruption from the inside and hold power to account. This is a chance to make working for the state sexy again – for young lawyers, investigators and experts to gain experience and refine their skills like so many others did in the early years of the DSO. We have to rebuild the capacity that we have lost.

As we all reel from the evidence that has been seeping out of the various inquiries and commissions underway, the country is desperate for action. But more than action, we want justice. We don’t only want arrests, we want convictions. A new Scorpions with the best capacity on board is our very best hope of getting that.

– Wiener is a specialist reporter for News24.Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.