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:

President and Chairperson of ASSAf Council

prof jansen1

Prof Jonathan Jansen is Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Stellenbosch. He is President of the Academy of Science of South Africa and in 2020 will be a Knight-Hennessey Fellow at Stanford University. He started his career as a Biology teacher in the Cape and holds a PhD from Stanford as well as honorary doctorates from Edinburgh, Vermont, Cleveland State and the University of Cape Town. He is the author of the award-winning book, Knowledge in the Blood (Stanford University Press) and his recent books include Inequality in South African schools (with Nic Spaull, Springer Publishers), Decolonization in universities (Wits U Press), and Who gets in and why: the politics of admission in South Africa’s elite schools (with Samantha Kriger, UCT Press). His forthcoming books include, The decolonization of knowledge (Cambridge University Press, with Cyrill Walters). He was recently elected Fellow of the International Academy of Education and holds an A-rating from the National Research Foundation.



Prof Stephanie Gail Burton

Vice-Principal: Research and Postgraduate Education at UP.


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

Vice-Rector, Research and Innovation at Stellenbosch University (SU). He is former recipient of the ASSAf Science-for-Society Gold Medal award. He is the Founding Director of the SU Water Institute

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.

Igle Gledhill

Prof Irvy (Igle) Gledhill

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


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.


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.

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.

Stella Nkomo

Prof Stella Nkomo

Professor in the Department of Human Resource Management at the University of Pretoria.

Norman Duncan

Prof Norman Duncan

Vice-Principal: Academic at the University of Pretoria


Prof Nancy Phaswana-Mafuya

Professor in Epidemiology and Public Health, MPH Programme, Faculty of Health Sciences, UJ.

NACI Representative

Prof Kupe pic 3

Prof Tawana Kupe

Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria. Appointed by the DST Minister as a 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.