G. Presidential Roundtable Series

About this Collection

The ASSAf Presidential Roundtables on Science, Scholarship and Society bring together experts in a particular field to address a critical issue percolating in society that requires the deliberation of the best minds on the topic.

Peer-Review Status: Non-Peer Reviewed

Enquiries: Renate Venier


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    The threat to leadership in South African universities
    (Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), 2023-01-27) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
    The 10th ASSAf Presidential Roundtable Discussion and the first in 2023, titled “The threat to leadership in South African universities” was presented on 27 January 2023. In recent times university staff have been assaulted and killed on and around campuses across the country, for instance, the killing of Prof Gregory Kamwendo, former Dean of Arts at the University of Zululand, Prof Mohammed Saber Tayob, a CA associate professor at the University of Limpopo, then, Peet Roets, who was the head of Fleet management at the University of Fort Hare, to name but a few. Now this year, the attempted assassination of the Vice-Chancellor of Fort Hare University and the tragic murder of his bodyguard, Mr Mbonelli Vesele, has generated intense public reaction against the perceived lack of response from government, whether it be in bringing the criminals to justice or providing adequate support to university leadership when their very lives are at stake. Prof Jonathan Jansen, ASSAf’s President, moderated the dialogue to get a deeper understanding of why this is happening; if government is doing enough to support university staff; and what these attacks mean for the future of South African universities in general and university leadership in particular. The discussions were led by Prof Nomalanga Mkhize (HoD: History and Political Studies, Nelson Mandela University), Prof Mohamed Saleem Badat (Research Professor: College of Humanities, University of KwaZulu-Natal), Prof Themba Mosia (Vice-Principal, University of Pretoria) and Prof Adam Habib (Director: School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London). The panellists viewed these developments as a crisis that needs to be handled with extreme caution. The ASSAf Presidential Roundtables on Science, Scholarship and Society, which are hosted by ASSAf and moderated by ASSAf’s President, Prof Jonathan Jansen, are an evidence-based dialogue that brings together experts and stakeholders to address critical issues affecting society at large and are of interest to a broad audience.
©The Author/Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)