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 Moses Mbewe Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC): Postgraduate Studies, Engagement and Planning

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Prof Moses Mbewe originates from the Nkomazi region of the Province of Mpumalanga, in South Africa.  He received his early education in the same area up to high school.  He furthered his education by obtaining his BSc (4 years) in Biology at Texas Southern University, in the USA, graduating with Summa cum Laude status in 1989.  He did his postgraduate studies (Masters and PhD) at the University of Cambridge, Department of Genetics, in the UK from 1991 to 1994 in Microbial Genetics and Molecular Biology.  He went on to become the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Microbiology at the University of Cape Town, South Africa in 1995 to 96.  He worked as senior lecturer teaching Microbiology at the University of the North, which became University of Limpopo from 1996 to 2004 and 2012 to 2015. During the second stint at UL, he served as Head of Department of Water and Sanitation and Acting Director of the School of Computer and Mathematical Sciences.  He also worked at the Northwest University as an Associate Professor and Director of the School of Agricultural Sciences from 2005 to 2011, teaching Microbiology. 

He assumed his duties at the University Mpumalanga as Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Sciences at the beginning of 2016 and served in this role up to June 2023.  He has served as Thrust Leader for Biotechnology at the University of Limpopo, as Board member of the Agricultural Research Council, South African Society for Microbiology, Northwest Nguni Cattle Development Trust, Limpopo Agriculture MEC Advisory Council, and ordinary member of the World Economic Forum 2001-2004.  He served as Member and Chairperson of the National Task Force for the Containment of Polio in Labs (NTF), a ministerial advisory committee for the National Department of Health from 2007 to 2023, and Council on Higher Education (HEQC) as Programme Evaluator.  He is, further, serving as a Council and EXCO member of the University of Mpumalanga Council.

He has since been appointed Deputy Vice Chancellor: Post Graduate Studies, Engagement and Planning (DVC: PSEP) beginning of July 2023.  In his new role, he will be responsible for Postgraduate Studies, Engagement, Continuing Education and Student and Graduate Placement, Alumni Affairs and Convocation, Institutional Planning, HEMIS and Monitoring and Evaluation.

Prof Aldo Stroebel Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC): Research, Innovation, and Internationalisation

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Prof Aldo Stroebel
Prof Aldo Stroebel is the inaugural Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Innovation and Internationalisation, appointed on 1 July 2023. The portfolio provide strategic leadership for all aspects related to research, innovation and partnerships, and executive management of Library and Information Services and Institutional Centres and Institutes.
A recognised scholar in sustainable agriculture, Prof Stroebel was elected as a founding member of the SA Young Academy of Science (SAYAS). He is a Foreign Fellow of the Ugandan National Academy of Sciences, Senior Fellow of the Pan-African Scientific Research Council, and an Honorary Scholar at the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Austria. He was a former Visiting Fellow at Cornell University’s Institute for African Development (IAD). More than 100 journal articles, book chapters and reports have been published (incl. two edited volumes by Cambridge Scholars and CTA), and 22 Master’s and PhD students have been supervised/ co-supervised.
He had a comprehensive and globally diverse higher education training profession: BSc- and Hons-degrees (University of Pretoria); Masters in International Agricultural Development (University of Ghent, Belgium); PhD in Sustainable Agriculture (Joint Programme between the University of the Free State and Cornell University, USA); Postdoctoral research (Wageningen University, The Netherlands). Professional training courses have been completed in Research Management in Australia, in Gender Programming in The Netherlands, Diversity Leadership in the USA, and Corporate Governance in South Africa.
He has served as South Africa’s National Contact Point for the European Research Council, and is a Board Member of the Water Research Commission. He is the immediate-past co-chairperson of the Executive Support Group of the Global Research Council, and former President of the Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA).
Prof Stroebel joined UMP from the National Research Foundation (NRF) where has was Executive Director Strategic Partnerships (2013-2023), with demonstrated success in developing a comprehensive suite of significant partnership and collaborative engagements for the NRF, with high levels of resource leveraging, contributing to and positioning South Africa’s National System of Innovation (NSI). Prior to the NRF, he worked at the University of the Free State (2003-2013) as Senior Lecturer; Associate Professor in the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture; Founding Director of International Affairs; and Director International Academic and Transformation Projects in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor and Rector. He was involved in the designing and implementation of numerous policy, organisational and development systems and strategies for the management and mentoring of multicultural teams, and establishing and guiding multi-sectoral partnerships and networks in support of research and innovation. During 1998-2002, he was a researcher and lecturer at the Postgraduate School of Agriculture and Rural Development, University of Pretoria, and Coordinator and Researcher of the Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP), a WK Kellogg Foundation-funded initiative in six countries.

Prof Mashudu Davhana-Maselesele Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC): Teaching and Learning

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Prof Mashudu Davhana-Maselesele originates from Ha-Davhana, a rural village in the Limpopo Province. She began her career as a nurse and midwife at the then Venda Nursing College, subsequently working as a Professional Nurse at Donald Fraser Hospital. Later, she transitioned to a teaching role at the Venda Nursing College. Throughout her academic journey, she earned various qualifications, including a BA(Cur) in Nursing Education and Community Health Nursing Science (UNISA), Honours BA(Cur) in Nursing Education (UNISA), Diploma in Primary Health Care (University Johannesburg) with cum Laude, Masters in Nursing Education (UNISA), and a PhD in Programme Development (University of Johannesburg). Additionally, she pursued postdoctoral studies at the University of California (Los Angeles, USA) with a focus on trauma research, specifically Gender-Based Violence. She also did a Postgraduate Diploma in International Research Ethics in Southern Africa (IRENSA) at UCT in 2007.

Her academic career started at the University of Venda between 1998 and 2007, where she progressed from Junior Lecturer to Senior Lecturer, teaching nursing programmes from undergraduate to postgraduate levels. Subsequently, she spent a decade at North-West University (NWU), holding key academic leadership positions, namely; Executive Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, Science and Technology, Vice Rector for Teaching/Learning and Research, and Campus Rector of Mafikeng.  She later moved to the Eastern Cape Province where she served as Rector of the Mthatha Campus at Walter Sisulu University for two years before becoming Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic Affairs and Research for two years.

During her tenure at NWU, she played a pivotal role in raising funds for capacity development, establishing research collaborations, and creating doctoral sandwich programmes for young academics. Her research primarily focuses on Gender-Based Violence and vicarious trauma among caregivers, particularly in the context of HIV and AIDS. As a passionate advocate of Problem-Based Learning, she has conducted training on the use of PBL as a teaching strategy in collaboration with Mc Master University (Canada).  She has supervised and co-supervised 24 Masters and Doctoral candidates and published articles in accredited journals nationally and internationally. She also mentored Post-Doctoral Fellows in collaboration with the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Presently, she is actively involved in a 5-year project for Sustainable Academic Capacity Building for Excellence through Research and Training (SACERT) Programme developing research capacity amongst young academics pursuing their doctoral studies in South Africa, collaborating with the following institutions: UCLA (USA), NWU, SU, UCT, UL, UNIVEN,WSU and HSRC.
She served as Editor-in-Chief of CURATIONIS, an accredited journal, and was a member of the South African Nursing Council (SANC) for a decade. She has been involved in programme development and reviews nationwide through participation in the Council on Higher Education (CHE) activities.
She has since been appointed as Deputy Vice Chancellor: Teaching and Learning (DVC: T/L) in January 2024. She will be responsible for intellectual and strategic leadership in the areas of Teaching and Learning.

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 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 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.

Mr Richard Flame Executive Director: Operations

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Mr Richard Flame is the inaugural Executive Director-Operations appointed on 30 October 2023. The Executive Director: Operations is to lead and strategically direct the Operations portfolio in accordance with the strategic objectives of the University of Mpumalanga, across both campuses.
After his studies in chemical engineering, Mr Richard Flame joined the old Atomic Energy Corporation, in 1997 as part and the development team for chemical plant production specialist inorganic solutions like NF3, SF6, and surface fluorination solutions.
Mr Richard Flame was in his latter years, at the now Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (Necsa) appointed as Nuclear Facilities Manager. He oversaw operations at the Dry and Wet Decommissioning nuclear plants.
As senior facilities manager he oversaw facilities and administrative operations at the Agricultural Research’s Council (ARC) Onderstepoort operations and Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR, Pty (Ltd.))
In 2010 he was appointed as the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Group Manager: Property Infrastructure and Services within the Property Infrastructure and Managed Services Operating Unit.
All the positions Mr Richard Flame became responsible for since June 2006 were newly created, always the inaugural incumbent.  In all (or most) instances it was expected that he:
  • Amalgamate units and departments.
  • Increase the revenue base.
  • Develop and ensure the creation of new facilities.
  • Review and reposition property portfolio based on best practise of the infrastructure management value chain.
  • Develop division/departmental/group/organisational strategies for at least 3-5 years.
  • Develop new clients & stake holder relations and strengthen existing relations.
  • Create and/or improve mechanisms for internal and external client/stakeholder interactions.
In 2013, whilst at the CSIR, Mr Richard Flame became the Programme Head: Strategic Infrastructure Management. As Programme Head, he oversaw the development of infrastructure related products in (1) strategic facilities management focusing on the development of high-level FM related solutions; (2) immovable asset management (IAM) including strategic planning, guideline development and best practice analysis; (3) preservation, maintenance & technology program with capabilities in policy, process and systems development; (4) development of IAM solutions/products including  User Asset Management Plans (UAMPs), Custodian Asset Management Plans (CAMPs), Immovable Asset Registers (IARs), Maintenance plans and policies
From July 2016 Mr Richard Flame moved to the private sector.  He was appointed as the Executive Director of the Facilities Management (FM) division within the Broll Property Group reporting to the Group Chief Executive Officer.
As the Executive Director of Broll’s Facilities Management division he oversaw:
  • A client portfolio comprising both private and public sector clients.
  • A client portfolio that incorporated the Education, Commercial, IT, Banking, Industrial, Retail and Corporate sectors
  • A client portfolio that covered in excess of 12,000,000m2
  • Locations in all the major centres in Southern Africa.
  • Management of prestigious educational facilities
  • Management of Facilities Management elements (e.g., condition assessments) for universities
  • Active participation in the activities of the Higher Education Facilities Management Association (HEFMA)
As a thought leader in the field of facilities, properties and infrastructure management Mr Richard Flame has:
  • Authored thought leadership pieces for publications and presentations at conferences
  • Presented at Conferences like South African Facilities Management Association (SAFMA), Higher Education Facilities Management Association (HEFMA) and FMCE Conference in Botswana
  • Been interviewed on a few radio stations and other platforms on facilities and infrastructure management.
  • Been part of Facilities Management podcast discussions with thought leaders and some of my clients.

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.