Executive Management


Prof Thoko Mayekiso Vice-Chancellor

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Prof Thoko Mayekiso, is the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mpumalanga with effect from 1 November 2014.

She obtained a BA, BA Honours, and MA in Psychology, from the University of Fort Hare. She furthered her studies at the Free University Berlin, in Germany, where she obtained her D. Phil (cum laude) in Psychology. She also holds a Higher Education Diploma (Post Graduate) from the University of South Africa. She is a registered Clinical Psychologist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa. In her sterling academic career, Prof Mayekiso has held positions of Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor, Professor, Head of Department, and Vice Dean at the then University of Transkei.  She practiced as Honorary Clinical Fellow at the Greenwood Institute of Child Health, University of Leicester and simultaneously served as a Clinical Psychologist in the Department of Medical Psychology, Leicester General Hospital in the United Kingdom.  Being a distinguished scholar, and accomplished academic, Prof Mayekiso attracted a number of scholarships and fellowships. Notable among these are the German Academic Exchange Scholarship (DAAD) and the Commonwealth Fellowship tenable in the United Kingdom. Furthermore, she was awarded a certificate from the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA) - in acknowledgement of the contribution made to the Profession of Psychology in South Africa. The South African University Vice-Chancellors Association and the American Council on Education awarded her a fellowship which was tenable at the University of Washington, Seattle. She then joined the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in 2001 where she served as Head of School, Deputy Dean, and then Acting Executive Dean in the Faculty of Humanities. She proceeded to the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in 2007, as an Executive Dean in the Faculty of Arts, and then Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Engagement) in 2009.  

She has published in accredited journals - both nationally and internationally. She has also contributed chapters in no less than seven books. The themes on which she published are wide and varied, but the core areas have been in adolescent sexuality, HIV and AIDs prevention programmes and mental health. In terms of student supervision, she has supervised twenty-four (24) Masters Students and twelve (12) Doctoral students. She is a C3 rated scientist by the National Research Foundation and a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa.

Prof Shirley Sommers Deputy Vice Chancellor of Teaching and Learning

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Prof Shirley Sommers is the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Teaching and Learning at the University of Mpumalanga.
 
Prof Sommers holds a BA in Geology from Earlham College, Indiana, an M Ed degree in Curriculum and Instruction Design from Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH, and a PhD in Theoretical and Social Foundations of Education with a minor in Higher Education Administration in from the University of Toledo in Toledo Ohio, USA. Prof Sommers joined UMP after having had over 20 years in academia rising through the ranks from Assistant Professor to a tenured full Professor. She also held several leadership positions including being the Director for the Centre for Service-Learning and pioneering positions such as being the founding director of the Centre for Urban Education, at Nazareth College, USA, which built capacity for preservice and in-service teachers to educate students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds using culturally responsive and social justice education methodologies. She was also the founding Director of the Institute for Pluralism (currently called Office of Diversity and Inclusion) at the same institution, which attended to the development of an equitable and inclusive campus in terms of race, gender, gender identity, social class, and sexuality.   In South Africa worked as an Associate Director in Staff Development at the Durban University of Technology and Coordinator of the Leadership and Equity Advancement Programme as the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
 
She has published numerous articles and book chapters; and has authored and co-authored three books on social justice education and experiences of African immigrant students and educators in the U.S. She serves on various higher education bodies including the American Educational Research Association where she serves as Program Chair for the Service-Learning and Experiential Education SIG. She is a long-time member of the Editorial Board for the journal Agenda: Empowering Women for Gender Equity.
 

Mr Kevin Pather Executive Director: Finance

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Mr Kevin Pather holds the post of the Executive Director: Finance of the University of Mpumalanga since 1 October 2015.

He is a qualified Chartered Accountant of South Africa CA(SA) after obtaining his BCompt degree and Hons BCompt CTA from the University of South Africa (UNISA). Kevin opened the first black Chartered Accountant practice in Port Elizabeth, which grew from humble beginnings of a local firm to being a founding partner of the then largest black Chartered Accountant firm in South Africa.  The firm merged with one of the “Big 4” international firms where Kevin was a partner. He served on the local and national Educational Committee of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA).

After more than twenty years as an active member of the Chartered Accountant profession, Kevin moved into consulting before joining the Educational sector as Senior Director: Audit and Risk Management at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University before his appointment at the University of Mpumalanga.

He has served on the Audit Committees of the Department of Health of the Eastern Cape, the Office of the Premier of the Eastern Cape, Mandela Bay Development Agency and the Warriors cricket Franchise.

Dr Paul Maminza Dean of Students

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Dr Paul Maminza is the Dean of Students at the University of Mpumalanga, a position he held since January 2015. He has served in a number of positions in the higher education sector. He served as the Acting CEO of the National Institute for Higher Education (NIHE) in Mpumalanga in 2014. He was the Executive Director: Academic Affairs at the NIHE from 2012 to 2014. Before joining the NIHE, he was the Deputy Regional Director: North Eastern Region at the University of South Africa (UNISA) from 2008 to 2011. He served as the Acting Regional Director during 2009. He was also the Head: Facilitation of Learning at UNISA (North Eastern Region) from 2005 to 2008. Dr Maminza was the Regional Academic Manager at the then Technikon SA from 1996 to 2004. Before joining Technikon SA, Dr Maminza held the position of Head of Department (Technical Academic) at the Mlumati Technical College from 1991 to 1996. Dr Maminza holds the following academic qualifications; PhD (Curriculum Studies) from the University of Stellenbosch; a Post Graduate Diploma in Rural Development Planning from the Weitz Centre in Israel; a STD in Technical Education (Electrical Engineering) from Technikon Northern Transvaal; a NDip in Electrical Engineering from Technikon Northern Transvaal; BTech and MTech degrees from Technikon SA. His area of interest is in post school education, rural development, student leadership, and engagement. Dr Maminza is a recipient of the UNESCO/MASHAV fellowship. 

Dr Emmanuel Tshikwatamba Siyabuswa Campus Director

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Dr Emmanuel Tshikwatamba is a Campus Director, Siyabuswa Campus. He worked as a Director: Research and Innovation at the National School of Government (NSG) in the South African Public Service for a decade. He also worked as a Director of the School of Economics and Management Sciences, simultaneously heading the Department of Public Administration at the University of Limpopo. He also worked as a Manager-Human Capital & Learning at PricewaterHouseCoopers. He served as an Executive Manager in the Office of the Vice Chancellor and Rector at the Vaal Triangle Technikon and contributed towards the transformation of the Technikon to become a University of Technology. He worked as a Regional Academic Manager at the Technikon Southern Africa where he also lectured in the field of Public Administration. His career started at the University of the North where he worked as a Research Assistant in a project that was collaborated with the Human Science Research Council (HSRC). He has been involved in the implementation of capacity development programmes in Botswana, Namibia, the Monarchy of Lesotho, ESwatini and the post conflict African States, namely; Burundi, Southern Sudan, Rwanda and he rendered similar services in the South African context.

He published widely in national and international journals and presented papers for academic discourse in national and international conferences. He served as a member of the Academic Board of the Southern Business School and he was the President of SAAPAM and a member of the Editorial Board.

Mr Sello Legodi Registrar

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Mr Sello Legodi holds a B. Com and University Education Diploma (UED) from the University of the North (now Limpopo). He obtained a B Com (Hons) degree form Vista University and later a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from DE Montfort University (Leicester) in December 2005. Mr Legodi is currently employed by University of Mpumalanga as the Registrar as from 01 August 2014. He is an experienced Educator and Principal from Gauteng Province in South Africa. He served as Lecturer at the former Vista University and North West University. He later became a Campus Registrar, Campus Director and Project Manager in the Registrar’s office at the University of Johannesburg. He moved to Kwazulu Natal where he worked as Deputy Registrar at University of Zululand and moved to Mangosuthu University of Technology in the same capacity. 

Mr Legodi started his governance career when he was a school principal where he was interacting with the school governing body on governance matters. He gained valuable years of experience in the Registrar’s office in areas of governance, legal and statutory compliance and institutional administration. He is a secretary to the University Council. He offers secretarial and logistical services to all University governance structures (Council and its committees; the Institutional Forum, the Senate as well as the Executive Management). He is also responsible for student academic administration, management of the institutional records and archives, .student affairs, student judicial services, higher education governance and regulatory matters and special projects. 

He is the university’s compliance officer and plays a role in strategic matters of the University. He is a member of all the Council and Senate Committees by invitation. He is also a member of the Executive Management Committee. He was also extensively involved in the merger and incorporation that led to the formation of the University of Johannesburg in 2005. The experience is of valuable use in the incorporation of the Lowveld College of Agriculture into the new University of Mpumalanga from 2015. Mr Legodi was the chairperson of the Klipspringer Lower Primary School in Nelspruit for one year in 2017. He provides strategic operational leadership to his division which is involved with student enquiries, , applications and admissions,  enrolment management as well as examinations and graduations.
        
He is currently a member of the Registrars Forum (RF) and Higher Education Faculty Administrators Forum (HEFAF). He is also a member of the Institute of Directors of South Africa (IDoSA). He is currently registered for an LLB degree and the Certified Director course with IoDSA. The certificate will lead to qualification for a Chartered Director (SA).

Mr Frans Leutle Senior Director: Operations

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Mr Frans Leutle is a Senior Director: Operations and a member of the Management Committee at the University of Mpumalanga. He began his career as a teacher and lecturer at Nzululwazi High School and Fort Cox College of Agriculture and Forestry in the Eastern Cape. He has more than 15 years of work experience in the Public Service and in Management. He served as a Manager and Acting Senior Manager in the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Mpumalanga and Limpopo Provinces. Frans holds a Masters’ Degree of Management from the Southern Business School, a 2nd Masters’ Degree in Agricultural Extension and Rural Development from the University of Fort Hare. He has two Honour’s Degrees, one in Education Management from the University of South Africa and the second in Agricultural Extension, Crop and Horticulture from the University of Fort Hare. He has a Post Graduate Diploma in Land and Agrarian Reform from the University of the Western Cape as well as a Higher Diploma in Education from the University of Fort Hare. He is passionate about Higher Education and Agricultural Management.

Dr Loshni Govender Executive Director: Human Resources

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Dr Loshni Govender has over 10 years’ senior management human resources management experience in higher education. Her portfolios have covered various human resources functions, including overall leadership of the human resources function, organizational development, talent management, wellness, training and development, remuneration and benefits as well as training and development. Dr Govender was the HR Director at Rhodes University from early 2014 until late 2019. Prior to joining Rhodes University, Dr Govender was HR Director: Organisational Development at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University from mid-2011 to early 2014. Before joining the Nelson Mandela University, Dr Govender served as the Acting HR Director: Human Resources for Walter Sisulu University. Her substantive post at the Walter Sisulu University was HR Director: Organisational Development, Learning and Development and Wellness.

She is a Research Associate with the Nelson Mandela University and has an interest in contributing to research in the fields of leadership, public management and human resources management. Her PhD led to the development of a human resources model for South Africa. She has been contributed to the development of HR practitioners in higher education through curriculum design and facilitation of the capacity development programme for HR professionals in the sector. Dr Govender holds professional registration with various bodies including the South African Board for Personnel Practice, the Institute for Personnel Management, South African Council of Educators, the Association for Coaching and Coaches and Mentors of South Africa.