Top Scholars in South Africa Honoured

Twentythree of the country’s leading scholars and scientists were inaugurated as Members of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) at the annual Awards Ceremony on 9 October 2019. As the official Academy of South Africa, ASSAf has as core function to honour the country’s most outstanding scholars by electing them to Membership of the Academy. ASSAf Members are drawn from the full spectrum of disciplines.

New Members are elected each year by the full existing Membership. Membership of the Academy is a great honour and is in recognition of scholarly achievement. Members are the core asset of the Academy and give of their time and expertise voluntarily in the service of society.

The 23 new ASSAf Members bring the total Membership of ASSAf to 574.

At the same time ten new members of the South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS) were inaugurated.

SAYAS was launched in October 2011 as a means to enable South Africa’s young scientists to fully participate in local and internationally relevant research and development agendas.

It provides a national platform where leading young scientists from all disciplines in the country can interact, and also access international networking and career development opportunities. 

SAYAS members are young scientists below the age of 40, have PhDs and are deemed excellent in their fields of expertise. SAYAS members come from all disciplines including pure and applied sciences, humanities, social sciences and the arts.

The new ASSAf Members are:

Prof Olubukola Babalola is Full Professor in microbial biotechnology and Director of the Food Security and Safety Niche area at North-West University (Mahikeng Campus).

Prof Martin Bucher is a Research Professor and Honorary Professor in the Astrophysics and Cosmology Research Unit, School of Mathematics, Statistics & Computer Science at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Prof Yahya Choonara is Chair and Head of Department: Pharmacy and Pharmacology at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and Principal Scientist and Syndicate Co-Director: Wits Advanced Drug Delivery Platform.

Prof Teresa Coutinho is Professor in the Centre for Microbial Ecology and Genomics, University of Pretoria.

Prof James Darkwa is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Chemistry, University of Johannesburg and Lead Researcher: Specialty Chemicals at the Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation, Gaborone, Botswana.

Prof Keertan Dheda is Professor and Head of the Division of Pulmonology, Department of Medicine, University of Cape Town. 

Prof Aslam Fataar is Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Education, Stellenbosch University.

Prof Louis Kotzé is Research Professor of Law, North-West University where he also teaches in the post-graduate LLM programme in Environmental Law and Governance.

Prof Loren Landau is Professor in the African Centre for Migration & Society, University of the Witwatersrand.

Prof Genevieve Langdon is Head of Department and Professor: Mechanical Engineering, University of Cape Town.

Prof Lesley Le Grange is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Curriculum Studies at Stellenbosch University.

Prof Paramu Mafongoya is Professor in the School of Agriculture, Earth and Life Sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and holds the South African Research Chair in Agronomy and Rural Development at the same institution.

Prof Bridgemohan (Brij) Maharaj is Professor of Geography at the University of Kwazulu-Natal.

Prof Bice Martincigh is a Professor in the School of Chemistry and Physics, University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Prof Ernesta Meintjes is Professor in Biomedical Engineering and the South African Research Chair in Brain Imaging at the University of Cape Town.

Prof Albert Modi is the Deputy-Vice Chancellor and Head of the College of Agriculture, Engineering & Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Prof Letlhokwa Mpedi is Executive Dean of Law at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and Director at the Centre for International and Comparative Labour and Social Security Law at the same institution.

Dr Antonel Olckers is the founder and CEO of DNAbiotec (Pty)Ltd, a sustainable knowledge-based core biotech company.

Prof Charles Parry is Director of the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Research Unit at the South African Medical Research Council and Extraordinary Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Stellenbosch University.

Prof Saurabh Sinha is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Internationalisation at the University of Johannesburg.

Prof Ann Skelton is Professor in the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria and Director: Centre for Child Law at the same institution.

Prof Cristina Trois is the South African Research Chair in Waste and Climate Change and Full Professor in Environmental Engineering at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Prof David Walwyn is Full Professor, Graduate School of Technology Management at the University of Pretoria.

The ten new SAYAS members are:

Dr Munyaradzi Marufu is a Senior lecturer and Head of Section Production Animal Clinic, University of Pretoria.

Dr Keagan Pokpas is a Lecturer and Senior Researcher at the University of the Western Cape, Science Faculty, Department of Chemistry, SensorLab.

Dr Moses Basitere is Senior lecturer: Chemical Engineering Department at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

Prof Mzukisi Njotini is Associate Professor, Faculty of Law at the University of Johannesburg.

Prof Rose Hayeshi is a biochemist by training with expertise in preclinical drug development and is currently an Associate Professor at the Preclinical Drug Development Platform, North-West University.

A/Prof Sudesh Sivarasu is Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at University of Cape Town.

Prof Tricia Naicker is Associate Professor and Director of the Catalysis and Peptide Research Unit, College of Health Sciences, Discipline of Pharmaceutical Science, University of KwaZulu Natal.

Dr Usisipho Feleni is Senior Lecturer at the Nanotechnology and Water Sustainability Research Unit (NanoWS), University of South Africa.

Prof Willie Chinyamurindi is Associate Professor at the University of Fort Hare (Alice, campus) and lecturer in the Department of Business Management. He is also a Research Niche Area Leader for the Faculty of Management and Commerce, University of Fort Hare.

A/Prof Tjaart Kruger is Associate Professor at the University of Pretoria’s Department of Physics.