ASSAf Members in the News

Honorary awards

Prof Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela
Prof Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela has been awarded an Honorary Professorship by the Centre for the Advancement of Non-Racialism and Democracy (CANRAD), Nelson Mandela University (NMU) as part of its expansion of research and engagement activities. The Honorary Professorship recognises her outstanding contribution toward scholarship and other professional fields. She holds the position of Research Chair of Social Change and Transformation at Stellenbosch University.

Prof Zacharias (Zakkie) Pretorius 
Prof Zakkie Pretorius has been presented with Honorary Membership by the Southern African Plant Breeders’ Association (SAPBA). This honour recognises his service to and promotion of the SAPBA objectives as well as his exceptional contribution to plant breeding. He is Research Fellow and Professor of Plant Pathology in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of the Free State (UFS).

Other awards

Three ASSAf Members have been presented with awards at the University of South Africa’s (Unisa) 2020 Research and Innovation Awards for pioneering and innovative research and recognition for their work externally: 

Prof Bhekie Mamba, Executive Dean in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, Unisa, has been presented with two awards, namely the:

  • Prestigious External Research Award (2019): One Thousand Talent of Foreign Experts, Tiangong University, Government of Tianjin.
  • Innovation Award (2019) for: Patent Application Incentive: A Process for Treating Acid Mine Drainage

Profs David Glasser and Diane Hildebrandt are recipients of the 2019 Innovation Award for: the First Patent Granted in Examining Jurisdictions/Country Award in the Fixed Bed Reactor (Australia 2018).

Prof Glasser is Director of the Material and Process Synthesis (MaPS) research unit and a Professor of Chemical Engineering at Unisa and Prof Hildebrandt is Director of the Institute for the Development of Energy for African Sustainability (IDEAS) and also a Professor of Chemical Engineering at UNISA.

Unisa honoured Professors Diane Hildebrandt and Malose Mphahlele with the One Million Rand Club Award for external grant funding received (2019). Professor Mphahlele is Professor of Organic Chemistry at Unisa.

Two ASSAf Members have been honoured by the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns. They are:

Prof Antoinette Lombard: Stals Prize for Social Work.She is the Head of the Department of Social Work and Criminology and a Professor in Social Work at the University of Pretoria (UP).

Prof Bernard Slippers: Havenga Prize for Life Sciences.He is the founding and current acting Director of Future Africa, Director of the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) and the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme at UP.

International awards and prizes

Profs Quarraisha Abdool Karim and Salim Abdool Karim have been honoured with the 2020 John Dirks Canada Gairdner Global Health Award. The award recognises outstanding achievements in global health research.

Prof Quarraisha Abdool Karim has also been honoured with the prestigious Christophe Merieux Prize by the Institut de France’s Christophe and Rodolphe Mérieux Foundation in recognition of her outstanding work in the development of the Centre for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa’s (CAPRISA) research on the prevention and treatment of HIV.

Prof Salim Abdool Karim is Director: CAPRISA and Prof Quarraisha Abdool Karim is Associate Scientific Director at the same organisation.

Prof Herman Wasserman
Prof Herman Wasserman received two honours from the International Communication Association (ICA). The first honour is election as an ICA Fellow. Prof Wasserman is the first person working at an African university to have received this recognition. The second honour is being appointed as the Editor of Annals of the International Communication Association. He is Professor of Media Studies and Director of the Centre for Film and Media Studies, University of Cape Town (UCT). 


Professor Andrew Forbes 
Prof Andrew Forbes has been appointed as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Optics at the UK Institute of Physics. He is Distinguished Professor in the School of Physics at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits).

Prof Mark Tomlinson
Prof Mark Tomlinson has been appointed to the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group of Experts (STAGE) of the World Health Organisation (WHO). Prof Tomlinson is the co-director of the Institute for Life Course Health Research (ILCHR) and a Professor in the Department of Global Health at Stellenbosch University (SU).

Prof Zeblon Vilakazi
Prof Zeblon Vilakazi, ASSAf Member, nuclear physicist and ASSAf Council Member has been appointed as the next Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). He takes over from fellow ASSAf Member, Prof Adam Habib, who has been at the helm for seven years. Prof Vilakazi’s current role is Vice-Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor for research and postgraduate studies at Wits.