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Executive and Deans


Professor Tyrone Pretorius - Rector and Vice-Chancellor


BA, BA (Honours), MA in Psychology, and DPhil from UWC as well as a PhD from the University of the Free State.


Professor Tyrone Brian Pretorius is an alumnus of the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and was appointed as the seventh Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the institution in 2015.

His career in higher education spans 33 years, of which 26 years were spent in various senior leadership positions, the majority of them held at UWC. His understanding of UWC’s history, achievements and challenges; his extensive knowledge of university governance and decision-making structures such as Senate, Council, and the Institutional Forum; and his experience serving in leadership positions in other higher education institutions locally and abroad, have contributed to UWC’s advancement as a research-led university during his tenure.

Prof Pretorius is a qualified Psychologist, who began his career as a Senior Academic Assistant at UWC after graduating from the institution with a BA and BA (Honours) in the early 1980s. In 1986, he completed an MA in Psychology at the institution and was appointed to a junior lecturer position within the Department of Psychology. He advanced to a lecturer position a year later. Prof Pretorius served as both a Senior Lecturer and Chairperson of the Department of Psychology in 1990, the same year in which he also attained a D.Phil degree from UWC. For the next 15 years, Prof Pretorius held various senior academic and management positions at UWC – from Associate Professor, Professor, Head of Department, Senior Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Community and Health Sciences, where he served as Dean for four terms.

In 2001, he was appointed as Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic at UWC, a position he held until 2005. He is widely recognised for his leadership qualities and his intimate knowledge of the higher education sector in South Africa and abroad, two of the many factors that led to him being appointed as President and Pro Vice-Chancellor of Monash South Africa, the local campus of the Australian-based Monash University. After eight years at Monash South Africa, Prof Pretorius was appointed as Vice-Principal (Academic) at the University of Pretoria where he was responsible for Teaching and Learning, planning and resource allocation.

Other than the degrees he completed at UWC, Prof Pretorius also obtained a second PhD from the University of the Free State in 1997, completed a Strategic Leadership Programme at Oxford University, England in 2009, and participated in the Yale Southern Africa Fellowship Programme of Yale University in the United States in 1989.

He has published extensively in respected national and international journals in the fields of career psychology, coping, stress, statistics and research methodology; has served as an Associate Editor and Co-editor for the South African Journal of Psychology; and authored and co-authored a number of books, monographs and book chapters. In 2001 he was honoured by the Psychology Society of South Africa for his lifetime contribution to the discipline of psychology. He currently serves as Chair of the Board of University Sports Company, and is an Emeritus Professor at Monash University in Australia.

Professor Vivienne Lawack - Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic


BJuris (cum laude), LLB, and an LLM from the University of Port Elizabeth (now Nelson Mandela University) as well as an LLD from Unisa.


Professor Vivienne Lawack joined the University of the Western Cape (UWC) as Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic in 2015 after serving as Executive Dean of the Faculty of Law at the former University of Port Elizabeth (now Nelson Mandela University) since 2008.

As Executive Dean she was responsible for providing strategic direction and managing the operations of the faculty, as well as its core functions of teaching and learning, research and engagement. Prof Lawack is responsible for the UWC’s learning and teaching activities at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Her portfolio includes academic planning, teaching and learning activities, the continued development of technology-enhanced teaching and learning, community engagement, and information and communication services amongst others. She led UWC through the COVID-19 crisis as Acting Rector and Vice-Chancellor from 1 February to 31 July 2020.

She obtained a BJuris (cum laude), LLB, and LLM from NMU as well as an LLD from Unisa. Prof Lawack also completed the SARB/Manchester Business School Leadership Development Programme in the United Kingdom. Prof Lawack is an admitted Advocate of the South African High Court on the non-practising roll and a Professor of Law in the Department of Mercantile and Labour Law in UWC’s Faculty of Law. She specialises in legal and regulatory frameworks pertaining to the payment system, banking system and financial markets.

Her research publications centre around legal and regulatory frameworks in payment systems, fintech, and banking and financial markets, with a particular lens on financial inclusion, financial integrity and migration. Before joining the higher education sector, Prof Lawack worked in the public and private sector as a senior payment system analyst, senior legal consultant, and Manager: Financial Safety Net at the South African Reserve Bank (SARB). She worked as Senior Legal Counsel for Strate Limited, South Africa's central securities depository, where she was also responsible for the amendment of the depository rules known as the Strate Rules.

Prof Lawack served as President of the South African Law Deans’ Association from 2010 to 2015, where she played a leading role in developing legal education in South Africa, liaising with the organised legal professions, and the promotion of a national qualification standard for the LLB degree, the latter under the auspices of the Council on Higher Education. Because of her legal expertise, Prof Lawack has offered input and been involved in various legislative drafting projects, amongst them as consultant and drafting reviewer for the SADC Model Law on National Payment Instruments, which was approved by the SADC Committee of Central Bank Governors in 2017.

Prof Lawack chairs and is a member of various boards and councils including serving as current Chairperson of the South African DVC Academic Forum, as a Director on the Board of the African Centre for Higher Education Internationalisation (AfriC), and as a Board member of the Kepler Institute in Kigali, Rwanda. She is a former Chairperson of the Cape Higher Education Consortium Board and a returning member of the South African Judicial Institute Council, chaired by the Chief Justice of SA.

Professor José Frantz - Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation


BSc. Physiotherapy, MSc. Physiotherapy, and a PhD at the University of the Western Cape


Professor José Frantz is currently the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC): Research and Innovation at the University of the Western Cape (UWC).
Before taking over as DVC: Research and Innovation, Prof Frantz held the position of Dean of the Faculty of Community and Health Sciences (2013-2017) and Deputy Dean of Research within the faculty.

Prof Frantz is a C2-rated South African National Research Foundation (NRF) researcher. Her primary research focus is in the area of health professions education and faculty development while her secondary research focus is on providing appropriate health education and health promotion to prevent chronic diseases due to lifestyle. She is committed and passionate about capacity development, something that is clearly reflected in the number of Masters and PhD students that she has supervised and her deep involvement in teaching, learning and research.

She has published more than 100 articles in both national and international journals and has presented her research at a number of national and international conferences. At present, Prof Frantz is the lead investigator in a capacity development programme between Tshwane University of Technology, Rhodes University, the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, UWC and the University of Missouri in the United States. The programme is being funded to the tune of R3.8 million.

In the past she has served as one of the principal investigators of a North-South-South collaboration between Norway, Sudan, Tanzania and South Africa. This project was funded by the FK-Health Exchange Programme in Norway to the value of 4 751 500 NOK and ended in 2015. Prof Frantz has received several prestigious scholarships and bursaries from the NRF, the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER), the South African Regional FAIMER Institute (SAFRI) and UWC.

In 2017 she received the South African Association of Health Educationalists (SAAHE) Distinguished Educator Award. This annual award recognises an individual who has either made a significant contribution in teaching or contributed to the development of scholarship in the discipline of health sciences education. In 2016 she was awarded the Champion of Research Capacity Development and Transformation at SA Higher Education Institutions from the NRF.

Dr Matete Madiba - Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Development and Support


BA (Paed), BEd, BA (Hons) (English), MA (Applied Linguistics), PhD


Prof Matete Madiba joined the University of the Western Cape (UWC) as Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Development and Support on 1 February 2023 after serving as Director of Student Affairs at the University of Pretoria (UP), a position she has held from 2012.

Prof Madiba, who gained her PhD from UWC in 2009 in Information Systems, has worked in the education sector since 1988.

As Director of Student Affairs at the University of Pretoria, Prof Madiba has extensive experience engaging and working with student communities and using innovative technology to support her engagements. This is evident in her successful implementation of e-voting and online elections for Student Representative Councils and development of a mental health chatbot to complement other mental health programmes.

Prof Madiba has illustrated her leadership abilities throughout her career through her participation in both national and international forums, such as serving on the executive committee of the South African Association of Senior Student Affairs Practitioners and coordinating the Student Affairs sub-cluster as part of the African Union’s CESA (Continental Education Strategy for Africa). She also chaired the UP Institutional Transformation Committee and served on the Curriculum Transformation, facilitating the development of the University’s Curriculum Transformation Framework. She also leads the UP GirlsforGirls (G4G) project, an international project aimed at mentoring young women to close the gender gap in and outside academia and contribute towards gender equity.

Dr Nita Lawton-Misra - Registrar


MEd degree from the University of the Witwatersrand and a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of the Western Cape


Dr Nita Lawton-Misra joined the University of the Western Cape (UWC) as Registrar in 2015. Before joining UWC, she served in various senior roles at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits).

As UWC’s Registrar, she is the custodian of institutional governance, which includes being secretary to Council and Senate and maintaining overall oversight of governance structures and responsibilities within applicable statutory and regulatory frameworks. She is also responsible for academic administration in partnership with Senate and faculties, which includes, amongst others, the registration of university qualifications and the overarching responsibility for student administration, from applications, admissions, registrations and examinations through to graduation.

The management of all records and data associated with the above responsibilities forms part of her portfolio. She is also the Deputy Information Officer of the university. Dr Lawton-Misra holds a PhD in Educational Psychology from UWC and a MEd degree from Wits. In addition, she has participated in the International Executive Development Programme run by Wits and the London Business School, as well as the Oxford Strategic Leadership Programme held at the Said Business School of Oxford University.

Dr Lawton-Misra is also a registered psychologist and a certified life coach. She has presented research papers at various national and international conferences, has facilitated and participated in numerous workshops and seminars, as well as served on many boards. She is currently a Board member of the Council on Higher Education (CHE); a member of the Legal Advisory Committee, a sub-committee of Universities South Africa; and in 2020 was appointed as a member of the Tertiary Education and Research Network of South Africa (TENET).

Mr Abduraghman (Manie) Regal - Executive Director: Finance, Innovation, Operations and Infrastructure


BCompt Honours from Unisa and BCom Accounting degree from UWC


Mr Abduraghman (Manie) Regal is the Executive Director: Finance and Services at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), a role he has served in since 2004.

As Executive Director: Finance and Services, he is responsible for the strategic management of finance, innovation, operations, infrastructure, and information and communication services at UWC. He is also responsible for diversifying the university’s revenue base, developing entrepreneurs and facilitating opportunities for small to medium enterprises, determining policy direction, infrastructure expansion and improvement, and risk and compliance matters.

Some of his many achievements over the years include, designing and implementing the Business Innovation Centre as well as the Centre of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and establishing a free knowledge exchange programme with the University of Missouri System. Mr Regal holds a BCompt Honours degree from Unisa and a BCom Accounting degree from UWC.

In 2010 he successfully completed the year-long American Council on Education Fellows Program in the USA, a leadership development programme for prospective Vice-Chancellors. Thanks to this programme, he was able to spend time at institutions like the University of Houston, the University of New Mexico, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, the University of Missouri, the University of California, San Diego, and Rutgers University, where he was able to share his knowledge and experience with his counterparts and learn from them as well.

Mr Regal has also completed a Strategic Leadership Programme at Oxford University. He is a member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants and is a qualified Chartered Accountant CA(SA). Before joining UWC, he worked as an Audit Manager for Ernst and Young, and as a Financial Accountant for Southern Asset Management. He has also held numerous positions in the retail and wholesale sector.

Mr Regal is very passionate about leadership development and promoting and facilitating a free-thinking environment that leads to staff development and that allows staff “time to think”. He has served on a number of boards within the public and non-governmental sectors and recently on Universities South Africa’s (USAf) Finance and Investment Committee, as Chairperson of the USAf Finance Executive forum, and as a member of its Financial Strategy Group.

Mr Meko Ernest Magida - Executive Director: Human Resources


Baccalaureus Procurationis from UWC and a Bachelor of Laws and Master of Laws degrees from Unisa


Mr Meko Ernest Magida was appointed as Executive Director: Human Resources at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) in September 2018.

He is a registered Master HR Professional Generalist with the South African Board for People Practices. Mr Magida is also an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa. He holds a Baccalaureus Procurationis degree from UWC, and Bachelor of Laws and Master of Laws degrees from Unisa. He also completed a Legal Practice Management training course with the Law Society of South Africa’s legal education division, LEAD. The course is mandatory for legal practitioners who want to establish and run their own legal practices. Mr Magida completed his articles as a candidate attorney at one of the prominent Black law firms in South Africa, Ngcuka and Matana Attorneys. Here he was trained by the principal, Mr Bulelani Ngcuka. Upon leaving the law firm, he was employed by the Western Cape Provincial office of the Department of Labour as Deputy Director and Head of Labour Relations. He was later promoted to the position of Director of Equal Opportunities at the national department’s Pretoria head office.

While serving as Director of Equal Opportunities, he set up the Commission for Employment Equity and also facilitated the training of the department’s labour inspectors to equip them to monitor and enforce the Employment Equity (EE) Act. During this time, he was also appointed by the Cabinet as one of the first members of the Employment Equity Commission (EEC) to represent the State along with Adv Thuli Madonsela. He also played a key role in managing and championing the promulgation and implementation of the EE Act, Act 55 of 1998. Following his time at the department, he worked for five years as a Senior Manager at Woolworths (Pty) Ltd. where he was responsible for the company’s transformation project, which focused on EE, diversity and broad-based black economic empowerment.

He was later appointed as the first Director for Support Services at the Western Cape Provincial Legislature overseeing Human Resources; Information, Communication and Technology; and General Support to the House of the Provincial Parliament. He subsequently became HR Executive at Golden Arrow Bus Services (Pty) where he spent eight years before joining UWC Mr Magida has served on several boards as a Non-Executive Director and as a member of Council of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology for two terms.

He is currently the Deputy Chairperson of the Board of the South African Board for Sheriffs, a regulatory institute for the sheriffs’ profession which is accountable to the Minister of Justice, Constitutional Development and Correctional Services.


Professor Monwabisi Ralarala - Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Professor Monwabisi Knowledge Ralarala joined the University of the Western Cape (UWC) as Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities in January 2020.

He has worked as Director of the Fundani Centre for Higher Education Development at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, the Language Centre at the University of Fort Hare; and the Research and Policy Development Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities. He has also lectured in the African Languages Department at Stellenbosch University (SU).

He holds two PhDs – from SU and the University of the Free State. His research interests are quite diverse and focuses on language rights and multilingualism in higher education, forensic linguistics, and translation studies. Prof Ralarala has published numerous research articles and book chapters, mainly in forensic linguistics and translation studies. He co-edited two books – African language and language practice research in the 21st century: Interdisciplinary themes and perspectives and New frontiers in forensic linguistics: Themes and perspectives in language and law in Africa and beyond.

In 2017, he was the recipient of the Neville Alexander Award for the Promotion of Multilingualism. Prof Ralarala is also a C-rated South African National Research Foundation researcher and one of the leading experts in the field of forensic linguistics in Southern Africa. He is currently Chief Editor of Studies in Forensic Linguistics/Language and Law in Africa and beyond, a book series published by African Sun Media. He has served as the Chairperson of the Western Cape Language Committee and is currently the Chairperson of the African Language Association of Southern Africa.

Professor Anthea Rhoda - Dean of the Faculty of Community and Health Sciences
Professor Anthea Rhoda was appointed as Dean of the Faculty of Community and Health Sciences (CHS) in 2017 - with her term extended in July 2021.

She is a Professor in Physiotherapy in the Physiotherapy Department at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), where she also served as Chairperson before taking over as Dean of the faculty.

She completed a BSc Physiotherapy and a PhD in Physiotherapy at UWC as well as a BSc Honours in Physiotherapy (Neurology) and an MSc in Medical Sciences (Rehabilitation) at Stellenbosch University. Her research focuses on neuroscience within the field of disability and rehabilitation, and specifically the rehabilitation of adults with neurological conditions caused by stroke or spinal cord injuries. She also conducts research in the area of faculty development and interprofessional education.

Prof Rhoda is a C2-rated South African National Research Foundation researcher and a faculty member and facilitator of the Southern African FAIMER Regional Institute (SAFRI) Fellowship. The programme develops leadership skills in academics who teach health sciences programmes in Southern Africa. She was also part of the consortium that developed the Physiotherapy Programme at AHFAD University in Sudan. Her interest in building capacity in African scholars has seen her supervise a number of PhD and Masters students from across the African continent.

Prof Rhoda is dedicated to developing a critical mass of next generation, emerging academics through her Capacity Building Programme for Associate Lecturers (junior lecturers) within CHS. She also facilitates a Mentoring for Academics Programme where established academics mentor emerging academics. Prof Rhoda is an Associate Editor for the African Journal of Health Professions Education and the current (2020) Chairperson of the South African Committee of Health Sciences’ Deans.

Professor Veerasamy Yengopal - Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry
Professor Veerasamy Yengopal was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry in October 2021, having previously served for many years as Head of Community Dentistry at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Prof Yengopal is no stranger to UWC - he earned his BChD in Dentistry from the University many years ago, and returned for his PhD in Dental Health / Community Dentistry 25 years later. (In between, he also earned his MChD in Community Dentistry from Stellenbosch University and his BSc Honours in Epidemiology from the University of Stellenbosch Business School.)

He is recognised among his peers as an academic with an outstanding publication record and excellent leadership skills. His areas of interest include child oral health, HIV/AIDS, evidence-based dentistry and dental epidemiology. He has published extensively and has presented at international conferences in most parts of the world, and established himself as an expert in evidence-based healthcare, systematic reviews and meta-analysis. 

He has worked with the National Oral Health Directorate and the Department of Health on strategy documents, teaching and research initiatives, outreach prevention programmes, quality assurance, patient satisfaction, evidence-based interventions, referral systems and CPD activities. He was also a key player in the drafting of the Revised National Oral Health Strategy Document for South Africa. 

His work is quoted extensively and serves as core evidence that informs on policy and evidence-based clinical decision making, and has been used as evidence to guide policy and treatment decisions by leading healthcare institutions such as the American Dental Association, National Health System (NHS – UK), the Cochrane Library, and the Forsythe Institute at Harvard.

Professor Michelle Esau - Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences
Professor Michelle Esau was appointed as Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences (EMS) in 2018.

Before becoming Dean of the faculty, she served as Acting Dean (2012-2013) and as Deputy Dean (2011-2014) for Academic Planning in the same faculty and as a Professor in the School of Government (SoG) at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). She has also lectured at the SoG since 1998.

Prof Esau completed a B.Admin, a B.Admin Honours, a M.Admin and a PhD at UWC. Her teaching and research interests include human resources management, ethics in the public sector, democracy and citizenship. She has published numerous research articles in accredited national and international journals and has written opinion pieces for the media on preparing women as well as students for the marketplace, and ethical leadership in South Africa.

She has been awarded various research grants and scholarships from the EMS Faculty, the Ford Foundation, the VLIR (Flemish University Council) and the Norwegian Government. Prof Esau has served as the Vice-President for Africa for the International Research Society for Public Management and is an editorial Board member of the Association of Southern African Schools and Departments of Public Administration and Management.

She has been involved in a number of international collaborations and research projects as a researcher for the Youth Active Citizenship research project; a project coordinator and researcher on the Flemish-South African Dynamics to Building a Better Society Programme; and as a researcher for New Forms of Citizenship Project funded by the Ford Foundation.

Professor Rajendran Govender - Dean of the Faculty of Education
Professor Rajendran Govender is currently an Associate Professor in Mathematics Education in the School of Science and Mathematics Education and Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of the Western Cape (appointed in July 2021), and has also served as Deputy Dean of Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Education for the period 2017-2020.

Prof. Govender started teaching school mathematics in 1985, became a college mathematics lecturer in 1995 and in 2002 he became a subject advisor of Mathematics in KwaZulu-Natal. In 2003 he joined the University of Limpopo as a mathematics education lecturer, and in 2008 joined UWC.

Prof. Govender possesses senior academic leadership experience with demonstrated leadership strengths and proven ability to manage multiple responsibilities in a dynamic environment with critical deadlines. Prof. Govender is well organised with attention to detail, and works well independently as well as collaboratively in a team setting. Proven ability to ‘think outside the box’ in identifying problems and implementing innovative solutions are the hallmarks of Prof. Govender’s leadership capabilities.

Prof. Govender is a member of SAARMSTE, UMALUSI external moderator for Mathematics, serves as the President of AMESA, chairperson of SAMF Advisory Committee on Mathematics, and served chairperson of USaF Community of Practice for the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics (TLMCoP) for the period 2016-2020. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Pythagoras journal, which is a Scopus indexed journal. He served as a team leader for the conceptualization and writing of the Curriculum Statement for National Senior Certificate for Adults (NASCA) in Mathematics. He serves as a work stream leader on geometry and measurement in the DHET Primary Teacher Education project.

At the University of Western Cape, he has been appointed as chairperson of the IOP (2021-2025) task team 3 for Goal Area 2 – Learning and Teaching, has coordinated the development of the new Assessment Policy for UWC in 2020-2021, and served as an active member of the Curriculum Transformation task team. His core areas of mathematics education research embrace reasoning, generalizing, proof, problem solving, modelling and the use of ICT in mathematics.

Professor Jacques de Ville - Dean of the Faculty of Law
Professor Jacques de Ville was appointed as Dean of the Faculty of Law in 2018.

Prof De Ville has spent more than 27 years at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) as a lecturer, senior lecturer, Associate Professor, Professor and Senior Professor within the Faculty of Law. He has served as Acting Dean of the faculty, Head of the Department of Public Law and Jurisprudence, and as Co-Director of the Research Unit for Legal and Constitutional Interpretation.

He holds a B.Com Law (cum laude) and an LL.B (cum laude) from North West University as well as an LL.D degree from Stellenbosch University. Prof De Ville is a B3-rated South African National Research Foundation researcher whose research and publication focus over the last decade has centred on the interrelation between the texts of the French philosopher, Jacques Derrida, on deconstruction on the one hand, and legal and constitutional theory on the other.

He has edited, co-edited, translated, and authored a number of publications and book chapters in the fields of public law and jurisprudence. This includes three books on Derrida as well as the monographs, Constitutional and Statutory Interpretation, and Judicial Review of Administrative Action in South Africa, which are frequently cited as authority in the courts.

Prof De Ville has in the past received the Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Researcher Award, the Vice-Chancellor’s Annual Book Award, numerous grants from the NRF, and a Von Humboldt/George Forster Fellowship.

Professor Burtram Fielding - Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences
Professor Burtram Fielding was appointed as the Dean of Natural Sciences in 2021, effective January 2022.

Prof Burtram Fielding is the lead researcher at UWC’s Molecular Biology and Virology Research Laboratory, and also the university’s erstwhile Research Development director, and he has helped UWC grow its stature as a world-class research institution.

A proud UWC alum, he holds a BSc, Honours (cum laude) and PhD in Microbiology and Physiology from the university, and has also completed an MPhil in Management Coaching (cum laude) from the University of Stellenbosch Business School. He has worked as a Research Fellow in the Collaborative Antiviral Research Group at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Singapore from 2003 to 2006, where he studied the coronavirus (SARS-CoV) responsible for the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. 
Prof Fielding is a C-rated South African National Research Foundation researcher and his decades of work on coronaviruses have cemented his status as one of the foremost experts on SARS-CoV-2 in South Africa, and the world, and he has mentored several students whose work has advanced our understanding of the current pandemic.