Council members

The ASSAf Council comprises 12 members elected by the membership as a 13th member appointed by the Minister of Science and Technology as a representative of the National Advisory Council on Innovation (NACI). 

The composition of the ASSAf Council is as follows:

Acting President and Chairperson of ASSAf Council

Professor Stephanie Burton is Professor in Biochemistry, in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences and a Faculty Fellow at Future Africa, at the University of Pretoria (UP). She is the former Vice-Principal for Research and Postgraduate Education at UP (2011 to 2020). Professor Burton is recognised for her leadership and expertise in research strategy, management, and performance, capacity building, postgraduate training, open science and science communication, and internationalisation.  She is currently coordinating national projects on mentoring and capacity development for early career academics, as Chairperson of the USAf Community of Practice in Postgraduate Education and Scholarship, and Research Leader for the USAf Advancing Early Career Researchers and Scholars Programme.  

Vice Presidents

Igle Gledhill

Prof Irvy (Igle) Gledhill

Visiting Adjunct Professor in Flow Physics at the University of the Witwatersrand


Prof Sabiha Essack

South African Research Chair in Antibiotic Resistance and One Health and Professor in Pharmaceutical Sciences at UKZN. She also serves as General Secretary of ASSAf.


Prof Eugene Cloete1

Prof Thomas Eugene Cloete

CEO of the Cape Higher Education Consortium (CHEC).

ASSAf Council Members

Prof Evance Rabban Kalula1

Prof Evance Kalula 

Chairperson of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Committee on Freedom of Association (CFA) and Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of Cape Town (UCT).


Prof Wim de Villiers

Rector and Vice-Chancellor of Stellenbosch University.


Prof Julian May

Director of the NRF-DSI Centre of Excellencein Food Security at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa,and the UNESCO Chair in African Food Systems.


Prof Christian Pirk

Professor and heads up the Social Insects Research Group (SIRG) in the Department of Zoology and Entomology at the University of Pretoria.

Professor Mary Scholes 201134x1080px

Prof Mary Catherine Scholes

Professor in the School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences and holds a Research Chair in Applied Systems Analysis at Wits.

NACI Representative


Council Advisors


Prof Letlhokwa George Mpedi

Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic (designate) and former Executive Dean: Faculty of Law, Universityof Johannesburg.


Prof Thokozani Majozi

Professor in the School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering at the University of theWitwatersrand where he holds the NRF/DST Chair in SustainableProcess Engineering.